The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried are proud to announce the administration’s continued growth with the appointment of Mary Barzee Flores. Barzee Flores, who has served in the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and presided as a circuit court judge in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit, will serve as Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, a senior leadership role overseeing the Department’s consumer services responsibilities, including licensing and concealed weapons permitting.
“Mary’s extensive experience with consumer protection issues, as both an attorney and a judge, make her a perfect fit as we strengthen our Department’s consumer services and protect Florida taxpayers,” stated Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried. “From credit card skimmers and fraud to telemarketing scams and effective oversight of licensing, we are bringing consumer protection to the forefront of the Department to ensure Floridians know we’re here to help them.”
“Commissioner Fried understands the need to defend Florida’s consumers, and the Department’s wide array of responsibilities presents an opportunity to help fight for the economic security of our state’s hardworking people,” shared Mary Barzee Flores. “I’m honored to join an administration focused on protecting consumer rights and the interests, safety, and security of all Floridians.”
Grea Bevis, the Director of the Division of Licensing, has resigned effective January 11. Barzee Flores will oversee licensing operations as Commissioner Fried and Department leaders seek to strengthen and improve Department rules and procedures.
About Mary Barzee Flores: Barzee Flores joins the administration from the litigation department of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson’s Miami office. For twelve years, she worked in the Federal Public Defender’s Office, trying over 40 federal jury trials to verdict. Barzee Flores also served as a circuit court judge in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit for over eight years, presiding over thousands of cases. As a judge, she tried over one hundred civil and criminal jury trials to verdict and heard appeals from the County Court and various administrative bodies. She has presided over construction defect cases, international bank fraud and embezzlement cases, and numerous product liability, medical malpractice, breach of contract, and commercial disputes.