DeSantis Names Former Judge to Head Department of Juvenile Justice

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis has tapped Simone Marstiller, a former judge, state agency head and lobbyist, to lead the Department of Juvenile Justice — arguably one of the state’s most troubled agencies in the past.

The department has had an interim secretary, Tim Niermann, since Aug. 28. The former secretary, Christina K. Daly, stepped down last summer after a tumultuous tenure that featured juvenile justice reforms but also the questionable deaths of several youths in state custody. The Miami Herald’s “Fight Club” investigation in October 2017 revealed that some DJJ staffers ignored beatings or offered pastries as bribes for beatdowns of detainees.

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