TALLAHASSEE -- New hires and changes in the structure of the attorney general's office have set the stage for Pam Bondi's tenure as the first woman to serve as Florida's chief legal officer.
Bondi said she will likely push for legislation to tighten Florida's regulation of pain clinics. BP oil spill claims, Medicaid fraud and gangs will also be areas of emphasis, she said.
Most significant: On Friday, Bondi named former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, to a new post focusing on prescription pill abuse.
"He's very familiar with this issue. He cares very deeply about this issue,'' Bondi, a Republican, said of Aronberg, who lost the Democratic primary for attorney general.
The fact that he's a Democrat, she said, doesn't matter.
"What I want to do is bring people together on all sides who all care about the issue,'' she said.
The position is the only post Bondi has created in an organization with more than 1,100 employees. She is otherwise streamlining the office by eliminating three high-level jobs to trim $250,000 from the budget.
Shortly after her election, Bondi signaled she planned to make pain clinics that excessively dole out prescription drugs -- so-called pill mills -- a focus of her office. She set up a transition team that included Aronberg to examine the problem.
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