New state attorney considers staff changes


Changes in the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office will extend further than the top spot.

Republican Dennis Ward, who served as state attorney fo the 16th Judicial Circuit from 2008 to 2012, returns to office after winning his Nov. 8 election over Democrat Catherine Vogel.

“During my interactions with Catherine Vogel during the campaign, my biggest complaint was about the lack of leadership, training and supervision in the office,” Ward said Tuesday.

“We’re going to fix those problems and look at the senior management,” Ward said. “There is going to change in some of the leadership positions.”

Ward said it would be “premature to start talking about specifics” at this point but the outline of his leadership could be determined by mid-December. He formally takes office Jan. 3.

Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson, who has worked with both Ward and Vogel, is serving as his transition manager, Ward said.

“I’m really not going to get into personalities,” Ward said. “Some people will decide they’re going to leave.”

“There may be more people who resign the day before I take office. That happened last time” in 2008, he said.

Mark Kohl, who served as Monroe County state attorney from 2001 to 2008,now is executive director to Vogel.

“I want to take a look at the office and where we can make improvements,” Ward said. “One of the reasons I ran is because a number of law-enforcement officers, commercial fishermen and others asked me to run. We got into it, and here we are.”

A former Miami Beach Police officer, Ward outpolled Vogel, 20,525 to 19,173, a margin of 1,352 votes, in the Nov. 8 election.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206