State Politics

Public safety chief adds to leadership team

N.C. Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks
N.C. Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks N.C. Department of Public Safety

Erik Hooks, the new head of North Carolina’s state public safety agency, has announced two key hires, both veterans of state government work.

Casandra Skinner Hoekstra will be the chief deputy secretary of administration, and Jane Ammons Gilchrist will be general counsel at the Department of Public Safety.

Hooks, in a statement, said he has worked with both women in different roles over the years.

Hoekstra will be the agency’s connection with the General Assembly, and will oversee the budget, purchasing, information technology, victims services and the crime commission. She has been legislative counsel for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, chief legal counsel at the former N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and legislative liaison and associate legal counsel with the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. She was also Gov. Mike Easley’s legislative counsel.

Hoekstra has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UNC-Asheville, and a law degree from N.C. Central University School of Law.

Gilchrist has been general counsel for the N.C. Department of Labor, an assistant district attorney and a legal staffer for the state Department of Justice.

She earned an associate’s degreefrom Peace College, and a journalism degree and law degree from UNC Chapel Hill.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO