County Administrator to Retire, Assistant County Administrator Expected to be named Interim

Posted on February 13, 2024 by Romi White

After working more than four decades for Santa Rosa County, rising through the ranks into its top job, County Admistrator DeVann Cook has decided it’s time to retire. Assistant County Administrator Brad Baker is expected to be named Interim Administrator.

Cook began working for the county in 1978 and had been Risk Management Director before being named County Administrator in February 2022.

Today he provided at least a 90-day notice, per his contract terms. His last planned day of work will be April 30, and he will utilize accrued leave thereafter. 

Commission Chairman Sam Parker expressed gratitude for Cook’s nearly half century of service in various roles within the county hierarchy. According to Parker, Cook had been discussing his retirement since last year. “We’re all thankful for DeVann’s decades of work.” Parker said it’s likely Baker will be named Interim Administrator.

“We deeply appreciate the many years DeVann has devoted to our county and sincerely wish him the best as he moves into the next chapter of his life,” said Commission Vice Chairman James Calkins. “I’m also excited to support Brad as Interim Administrator because I know he has a wealth of institutional knowledge, so he can hit the ground running and focus on ensuring this transition will go as smoothly as possible.”

Baker started working for Santa Rosa County in 1988 and previously served as Public Safety Director before being promoted in February 2022 to Assistant County Administrator. 

“I think Brad would be outstanding in the role of Interim Administrator,” said Navare Beach Fire Rescue Chief Danny Fureigh.”Brad is well versed in all aspects of county mnagement, including emergency services. He’s also very easily accessible and has a great rapport with the community, especially first responders.”

Baker also serves as fire chief of Allentown Volunteer Fire Department and is known for his avid support of the University of Florida.