Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mustine gone as ODNR head, replaced by appointed career official

It didn't take long for fossil fuel expert David Mustine to move out of his post as the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Today, Gov. John R. Kasich announced that Mustine will jump over to JobsOhio where he will - in the words of the state's official press release - "oversee energy development" in the state.

For at least the short term Mustine will be replaced by current ODNR Assistant Director Scott Zody, who will assume responsibilities as interim director.

Mustine was named by Kasich to head the Natural Resources Department shortly after he took office as governor. Environmentalists have been concerned about Mustine's long ties with the energy-extracting and -development industry.

“I’m grateful that Scott has agreed to step up and lead ODNR as a permanent leadership decision is being finalized," Kasich says in the media release. "His longtime service with the Department has earned him respect within the natural resources community and his experience will allow him to be a steady hand. While
"I’m going to miss David's at cabinet meetings, I’m very excited about his new opportunity helping to shepherd Ohio’s emerging energy potential. The newly-announced shale gas finds in Eastern Ohio could transform that part of the state for the next century and provide Ohio job-creators with low-cost, reliable sources of energy. David’s energy, experience and expertise will be a huge benefit to the people of Ohio,” said Kasich.

Zody has spent more than half of his 20-year public career with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Prior to being named Assistant Director in 2011, Zody served ODNR in a number of pivotal roles, including Deputy Director for Recreation and Resource Management, and as Legislative Liaison, the Governor's announcement says.

Zody also has worked for the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners as the County Manager, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation and the Legislative Service Commission.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischkorn@News-Herald.com

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