Political People and their Moves

John Tintera, executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, is leaving the agency. That abrupt change followed, by about a week, the ascension of Commissioner Barry Smitherman to the chairman's seat. Tintera was with the agency for 22 years, serving as ED for the last three. He'll be replaced on an interim basis by Polly McDonald, who runs the agency's pipeline safety division.

Zak Cover, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry, is the new executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. He's been at the agency since 2009, most recently as deputy to Mark Vickery, who is retiring from the ED job.

Covar isn't the only Perry aide moving up. The Texas Department of Public Safety hired Katherine Cesinger as director of communications, where she will head up the Media and Communications Office. For the last several years, including her time as the governor's press secretary, she has served as the chief spokeswoman for border security, homeland security and emergency management issues in Texas.

Robert Durón, who has served as superintendent of the San Antonio and Socorro school districts, will join the Texas Education Agency as deputy commissioner for finance and administration, effective April 1.

The National Association of Regulatory Commissioners appointed Texas Public Utility Commissioner Rolando Pablos to serve on its committee on International Relations. Pablos is a former honorary consul to Spain, playing a key role in promoting trade between the U.S. and Spain. He is also a former chairman of the San Antonio Free Trade Alliance.

Gov. Perry named Ruben Reyes of Lubbock chairman and appointed eight members to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council. Reyes is judge of the 72nd Judicial District Court in Lubbock and Crosby counties and presiding judge of the Lubbock County Adult Drug Court. Joel Bennett is an Austin attorney and a judge for the Travis County Drug Court. Robb Catalano of Fort Worth is judge of Criminal District Court No. 3 iand a former assistant Tarrant County district attorney. Alan "Clay" Childress of Leander is a drug court officer for the Burnet County Adult Probation Department. Mary Covington of Houston is special programs manager for the Harris County District Court. Becca Crowell of Dallas is executive director and CEO of Nexus Recovery Center. Debra "Debbie" Fesperman of Sherman is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and program coordinator for the Grayson County Community Supervision and Corrections Department STAR Recovery and Family Court. Tara George of Houston is an assistant Harris County district attorney and a prosecutor for the Success Through Addiction Recovery Court STAR program. Dibrell "Dib" Waldrip of New Braunfels is judge of the 433rd Judicial District Court.

The governor named Ben Raimer of Galveston chairman and appointed 13 members to the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency Board of Directors. Raimer is a board certified pediatrician and senior vice president and professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Joel Allison of Dallas is president and CEO of Baylor Health Care System. Steven Berkowitz of Austin is founder and president of SMB Health Consulting. Patrick Carter of Houston is medical director of care coordination and quality improvement at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. Alexia Green of Ransom Canyon is a professor and dean emeritus at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing. Michael "Ted" Haynes of Sachse is a certified public accountant and vice president of Health Care Delivery for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Robyn Jacobson is CEO of Entrust Inc. and EnCore System Professionals Inc. John Joe of Houston is a physician and chief medical information officer at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. Ronald Luke of Austin is president of Research and Planning Consultants. Elena Marin of Brownsville is CEO of Su Clinica Familiar and an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center Lower Rio Grande Valley Area Health Education Center. Beverly Nuckols of New Braunfels is a board-certified family physician in private practice. Thomas Quirk of Dallas is CEO of United Healthcare for Texas and Oklahoma. Alan Stevens of Belton is director of Scott and White Healthcare’s Center for Applied Health Research and a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine at Temple. Susan Strate of Wichita Falls is a practicing physician and medical consultant, and medical director of several clinical laboratories in North Texas.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst reappointed Dr. Joseph S. Bailes to the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee. Bailes is a medical oncologist with experience in legislation, public policy and advocacy.

Press corps moves: Aman Batheja, laid off by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is joining The Texas Tribune in Austin, where he'll report on transportation, budget and politics.