Gov. Rick Scott today appointed former Duval County Tax Collector (and recent Jacksonville mayoral candidate) Mike Hogan to chair the state’s Public Employees Relations Commission. Hogan’s term begins today and will run through Jan. 1, 2012.

According to a Florida Legislature website, the commission is a “quasi-judicial body that adjudicates labor and employment disputes between public employees (and job applicants) and governmental entities including the state, counties, school boards, municipalities, and special taxing districts.” It consists of one chair and two members, all appointed by the governor.

Litigation dealt with by the commission, which handles employment and labor cases, could affect the rights of “over 600,000 public employees whose rights could potentially be affected by commission litigation, including firefighters, police and corrections officers, school teachers and support personnel, state troopers, toll collectors, and sanitation workers.” Between 2009 and 2010, the commission had 1,373 filings.

Hogan’s campaign for mayor drew a lot of attention, due in part to controversial comments he made about abortion clinics. During a candidate forum at an area Catholic Church, he reportedly remarked that he was against abortions, but would not bomb an abortion clinic, then jokingly added: “It may cross my mind.” Despite that, he was endorsed by area tea party groups, as well as former Gov. Jeb Bush. Hogan lost the race to Democrat Alvin Brown, the first African-American to be elected mayor of the city of Jacksonville.

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