Crist names three agency heads

One is promoted, and two are brought from outside organizations.

By Times staff
Published April 3, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday named three new leaders to oversee the state's agencies over transportation, disabled services and drug control.

- Stephanie Kopelousos, former Department of Transportation chief of staff and interim secretary, drops the "interim" from her title.

Kopelousos was in charge of federal programs for the Transportation Department. She's worked in Washington as a legislative analyst and was an aide to then-U.S. Rep. Tillie K. Fowler.

Kopelousos replaces Bush transportation chief Denver Stutler.

She said Monday she supports local efforts to control transportation planning through agencies such as the proposed regional authority that would affect seven Tampa Bay area counties.

"We can be a part of the new paradigm in transportation," Kopelousos said. "We don't have to be locked into the old ways of doing things."

- Jane Johnson, a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, was named director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

Johnson, the executive director of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services & Technology, said she is dedicating her service in the new job to her sister, who gave birth to a boy with Asperger's syndrome.

"For many years I worked as an advocate from without trying to effect changes to improve the service delivery systems in Florida for the elderly and people with disabilities," Johnson said. "Now I've become an advocate from within."

- Bill Janes, a former counselor, manager and executive director for the Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office in Tampa, becomes the state's drug czar in the Office of Drug Control Policy.

A retired Army colonel, Janes will be the governor's liaison to public, private and federal agencies to help develop drug control plans.

All three appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.