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  Mary Thomas
General Counsel

(850) 414-2074
thomaslm@elderaffairs.org

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel provides legal advice for the Department. The General Counsel renders legal opinions, reviews all contracts, grants and inter-agency agreements, and helps formulate agency policy.

The General Counsel’s office also is responsible for promulgating all long-term care rules for assisted living facilities, adult family care homes, adult day care centers, hospices, and Alzheimer’s trainer and training standards for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities. Finally, the office promulgates rules for Department programs as needed and provides legal representation in cases filed against the Department and the Secretary, as well as cases filed by the Department. The General Counsel’s office responds to constituent letters, phone calls and emails of a legal nature and provides referrals to appropriate resources and also serves as the Department’s primary public records point of contact.

Statewide Public Guardianship Office

Established in 1999 by Chapter 744.701-709, Florida Statutes, the Statewide Public Guardianship Office (SPGO) is responsible for designating Florida’s public guardians. Public guardians serve indigent persons who lack the capacity to make their own decisions and have no willing or able family or friend to act as their guardian.

The office, which contracts with 15 local Offices of Public Guardian throughout Florida, is also responsible for the registration and education of professional guardians. The Statewide Public Guardianship Office can be reached by calling (850) 414-2381. Read more about the Statewide Public Guardianship Office.