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Ashley Moody makes senior staff appointments to Attorney General’s office

John Guard, the former federal prosecutor who serves as Ashley Moody‘s Transition Executive Director, will become her Chief Deputy Attorney General when Moody is sworn in as the state’s next Attorney General.

The move was one of several staff announcements made by her transition team on Wednesday, which saw a mix of new and familiar faces – at least at the Capitol – who will be joining Moody.

“I am thankful these talented individuals will be serving in important roles on our team,” Moody, formerly a circuit judge in Hillsborough County, said in a statement.

“Together we will work diligently to protect Floridians and remain accountable through transparency and effective communication.”

Guard most recently was a partner at the Quarles & Brady law firm in Tampa, and has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, which stretches from Tampa to Jacksonville.

Before that, he practiced at Holland & Knight for seven years, and served as a federal law clerk. He has an undergraduate  degree in political science and history from Florida State University and a law degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

In other hires:

Richard Martin will serve as the office’s General Counsel.

He most recently was a partner at the Akerman law firm in Tampa, where he practiced for over 14 years. He also served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida.

Martin is a native Floridian from Lakeland and holds an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Florida and a law degree from Florida State University.

Dan Olson will be Governmental Affairs Director overseeing legislative and cabinet affairs.

Most recently, he was chief operating officer at VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s public-private tourism marketing agency. He has also been chief of staff at the Florida Lottery and held roles at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Executive Office of the Governor.

He has an undergraduate degree in political science and applied economics and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University.

Erica Geiger will be Director of Special Projects and Initiatives.

She will manage projects related to the Attorney General-elect’s top priorities, including combating the opioid and human trafficking epidemics, and coordinating law enforcement support.

Geiger previously was Director of Political Affairs on Moody’s campaign for Attorney General and is currently overseeing operations on the Attorney General-elect’s Transition Committee.

She also worked at the State Attorney’s office in the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. Geiger has an undergraduate degree in criminology and American sign language from the University of South Florida and a law degree from Stetson University.

Lauren Schenone will be Director of Public Affairs.

In this role, she will focus on communications and external affairs. Schenone most recently was outgoing Gov. Rick Scott’s press secretary and chief spokesperson for his successful campaign for U.S. Senate.

Schenone, who previously had several communications roles for the Executive Office of the Governor and the Republican Party of Florida, has an undergraduate degree in social sciences from Florida State University.

Whitney Ray will continue to serve as Communications Director.

Ray is a former member of the Capitol Press Corps, covering state government and politics. Before that, he reported for KNWA, Fox 24 and KFSM in Arkansas.

He has also been press secretary for the Department of Children and Families. Ray has an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Arkansas and a masters of Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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