Newly sworn in Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Wilton Simpson got to work on Wednesday by naming Lee Adams as the new director of his Department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement.
Adams replaces Col. James Wiggins, who served in a law enforcement role at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since 1998, including the last seven years as director of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement. Wiggins earned $136,000 per year in that position.
“First, I want to thank Colonel James Wiggins for his more than two decades of service to the state of Florida and his dedicated leadership of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement,” Simpson said in a released statement.
“Colonel Lee Adams will bring a level of excellence, professionalism, and integrity that is in keeping with the tradition of the Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement. I am confident that his unique skills and experience will keep Floridians and businesses safe.”
Adams is a 30-year law enforcement veteran, with 20 years of experience at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in investigative, training, policy and special operations roles.
The OALE has 230 sworn officers and conducts investigations related to consumer protections and agriculture theft and sabotage. It has a budget of $29.6 million and 20 stations across the state, conducting vehicle inspections throughout the year to protect Florida’s food supply from agricultural pests and diseases.
Simpson, an egg farmer from Trilby by trade, was sworn in as Commissioner Tuesday. He previously served in the Senate from 2010 to 2022, representing the Pasco County area, including the last two years as Senate President. He defeated Democrat Naomi Blemur in the General Election 59% to 41% to replace Nikki Fried, a Democrat who failed in her race for her party’s nomination for Governor, and restore complete GOP occupancy on the Florida Cabinet.
The next Cabinet meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17.