Arek Sarkissian came to POLITICO Florida in December 2017 to cover regulated industries in one of the fastest growing states in the country.
Sarkissian served as the bureau chief for the Naples Daily News for more than two years. During his tenure, his investigative reporting on VISIT FLORIDA prompted the Legislature to pass tougher contract restrictions. He also uncovered questionable projects slipped into the state budget by lawmakers that were subsequently rejected, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Sarkissian was also the first USA TODAY Network reporter at the scene of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. He closely covered Gov. Rick Scott for the network during Hurricane Irma.
Previously, Sarkissian worked for The Gainesville Sun, where his reporting led to the shutdown of a police department known internationally for operating a speed trap. This work led the Legislature to create a law that forbids police departments from relying chiefly on traffic ticket revenue.
Sarkissian grew up in the Detroit suburbs, and he graduated from the University of Arizona in 2003. He spent more than three years designing two weekly newspapers in Arizona before he was chosen by the Poynter Institute to take part in its annual Summer Fellowship for Young Journalists. From there, he covered crime in Savannah, Georgia, and city government in Evansville, Indiana. He first came to Florida in 2012 for a state government reporting job with The Tallahassee Democrat.