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DEP lays off 15 in Tallahassee as part of ongoing evaluation of positions

By Bruce Ritchie

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection this week laid off 15 employees in Tallahassee and nine in other offices across the state and eliminated another 24 vacant positions.

The move at the Division of Water Resources follows a reduction of 25 employees on Oct. 18 at the DEP district office in Tampa.

A DEP spokeswoman said Tuesday there is an ongoing evaluation and assessment of positions to ensure the department is being fiscally responsible. The process will continue through the new year at district offices across the state.

"These assessments and evaluations are being conducted throughout all divisions, districts and programs within the department and is a critical component of being able to improve the effectiveness of the way we do business," spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller wrote in an email.

She added that the assessment does not necessarily mean layoffs. At the Fort Myers district office, she said, eight new positions are being created as a result of the assessment.

A presentation on the restructuring was shown to department employees during a meeting Tuesday at DEP's Bob Martinez Center in Tallahassee.

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