Larry Newsom, who served in Escambia County’s top job during the 2010 BP oil spill and the floods and jail explosion of 2014, has died at the age of 56.
Newsom, who was most recently city manager for Flagler Beach, passed away Sunday in the hospital in Palm Coast, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported.
“This is a profound loss for our family here in Flagler Beach,” Flagler Beach City Chairwoman Jane Mealy said in a post on the city’s Facebook page. “Our saddened hearts are with Lisa during this most trying of times and our community will miss Larry’s dedication to our City.”
The Daytona Beach News Journal reported that Newsom had taken medical leave a number of times in the last year, but his cause of death has not been reported.
Newsom had a long career in Escambia County working in traffic engineering and economic development and serving as a county “ombudsman” to handle citizen complaints. He was also a longtime assistant county administrator and three times had the top job in the county government as interim county administrator — 2010, 2012 and 2013 to 2014 — when he stepped into the role after other administrators were fired or stepped down.
Newsom was interim county administrator during the BP oil spill in 2010 and the April 2014 floods when the county’s Central Booking and Detention Facility exploded.
Newsom left the county in December 2014 to “pursue other opportunities” and eventually became city manager for Flagler Beach in 2016. There, he helped the city through multiple hurricanes, including Irma and Dorian.
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson, who was an Escambia County commissioner when Newsom worked there, said during his weekly press conference Monday that he was saddened to hear about Newsom’s death.
“I had the chance to work with him one of those times as chairman when we were looking for a county administrator, ” Robinson said. “But certainly, my thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa and the whole Newsom family. Larry was from the Milton area, certain locally in the area, and he will be missed.”
Jim Little can be reached at [email protected] and 850-208-9827.