Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

Horror unfolded in a Jacksonville pizzeria last Sunday. While gamers competed in a video game tournament, one contestant took out a weapon and began firing at competitors. The attack ended in a matter of minutes leaving three dead, including the shooter, and several more injured.

First responders participating in a nearby training exercise rushed to the scene and immediately began rendering aid to victims of the shooting. Local law enforcement began clearing the scene. I immediately sent my victim advocates to help the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office counsel survivors, offer trauma services and assist with medical expenses. While in Jacksonville following the shooting, I also had the opportunity to visit with some of the victims and hear their stories.

While the malevolent and cowardly acts of the shooter have left many broken and hurting, it has also brought the Jacksonville community closer and highlighted the brave efforts of first responders, law enforcement and giving people across our country. [Read more…]

Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

August 24, 2018
Last Sunday, Clay County Deputy Ben Zirbel sustained critical injuries from a motorcycle accident. Just three days later, we learned that he passed away from those injuries. Every time I hear about a brave law enforcement officer getting critically injured while protecting our communities, it takes my breath away. My deepest sympathies go out to Deputy Zirbel’s family, friends and the entire Clay County law enforcement community.

May you rest in peace deputy.

This week, we filed legal action against a Florida travel agency that collected millions from consumers, then failed to provide promised vacations. Legendary Journeys, a now-shuttered Sarasota-based travel agency, still owes customers nationwide more than $3 million in refunds.

According to our legal complaint, Legendary Journeys and two of the company’s officers misappropriated company assets for personal benefit before closing, then filed an assignment for the benefit of creditors—a legal proceeding similar to bankruptcy. The defendants took money paid by consumers for vacation packages and used it to pay personal expenses and make extra payroll distributions. [Read more…]

Gov. Scott Announces More Action to Combatting Algal Blooms

~$50 million toward fixes for federal Herbert Hoover Dike, $700,000 for Lee County~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have reached an agreement on a $50 million state investment to fund repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike. This agreement follows a $50 million investment made earlier this year, bringing the State of Florida’s total investment in this federal project to $100 million. After decades of federal inaction, Gov. Scott fought to secure this state funding and secured a commitment from the White House to provide the federal funds to fix the Herbert Hoover Dike. The funding will accelerate critical repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Once completed, this project will reduce the need for harmful water releases from the Army Corps of Engineers by allowing more water to be stored in Lake Okeechobee. [Read more…]

Across the State of Florida

Friends,

It is a great day to live in America! This week, across the State of Florida, school has begun again. There is much anticipation and excitement from students, parents and teachers. Excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and that we live in a great country where anything is possible. A country where a young man who got his start washing cars at Hiers funeral home, could go to school, get a degree and one day become the principle of that company. That same man is now your State Senator, and it is an honor and privilege to serve you in Tallahassee. This is the final column of a short series that has highlighted many of our accomplishments since joining the Senate in 2016.

Last year, your Senator was awarded an “A” by the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF) in recognition of our continued support for higher education in the 2018 legislative session. The ICUF is a diverse association of 29 private, not-for-profit, educational institutions based in Florida that serve more the 130,000 students. [Read more…]

Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

July 27, 2018

The days of Florida being called the Pill Mill Capital of the Country are now behind us and we are making significant strides to combat the national opioid crisis. As a state and nation, we still face significant challenges exacerbated by heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drugs. Illegally sold prescription pills also continue to fuel addiction in our country.

This week, my office and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Dr. Armando Falcon and two office managers following a lengthy undercover investigation. According to the investigation, Dr. Falcon operated a pill mill at the Pain Center of Cutler Bay, a pain management center in South Florida. The investigation determined that Dr. Falcon met with patients for less than two minutes before prescribing in many cases approximately 150, 30 mg, oxycodone pills—earning millions as a result of his criminal enterprise. [Read more…]

Hometown America is Alive and Well

from the desk of Florida State Senaor Baxley

Friends, Washington D.C. may be in turmoil and dysfunction, but hometown America is alive and well! In the State of Florida and Senate District 12, we remain committed to those core values of faith, family, freedom and opportunity. This is your government and I work for you. As promised, I will continue this series of letters to you, highlighting all that we have done together and some of the recognitions we have received along the way.

The Florida Bail Agents Association (FBAA) is an advocacy organization that works with policy makers to advocate continued high standards for all bail agents, works to defeat serious threats to eliminate bail in Florida, and pushes to improve professional standards of bail agents through licensing and educational requirements. In 2017, your Senator was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the FBAA for our work on SB 680, which passed as HB 361 and was signed into law by Gov. Scott. This bill amends several provisions related to bail and bail bonds agents and received unanimous support in the House and Senate. [Read more…]

Gov. Scott Appoints State Representative Scott Plakon to Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –

Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of State Representative Scott Plakon to the Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee.

Governor Scott said, “Following the tragic loss of his wife, Susie, to Alzheimer’s, I know that Representative Plakon will be a strong advocate and committed partner in the fight to end Alzheimer’s in Florida. My wife Ann and I send our thoughts and prayers to Scott and his family during this difficult time, but we also know that this is a disease we must fight and that Scott will help lead Florida in this effort.”

Plakon, 59, of Sanford, serves as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 29th District, and he is the chief executive officer of ShredPro Secure. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning July 28, 2018, and ending February 13, 2022.

Gov. Scott’s Statement on the Passing of Fort Myers Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Please see the following statement regarding the passing of Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller below:

Governor Scott said, “Our hearts are heavy to learn of the passing of Officer Jobbers-Miller. Police officers like Adam Jobbers-Miller put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. My wife, Ann, and I are praying for his family and everyone in the entire Lee County law enforcement community this evening.”

Officer Jobbers-Miller was shot on duty last Saturday night. Governor Scott has spoken with Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs and Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott several times as well as attended a candle light vigil for Officer Jobbers-Miller on July 23.

Summertime is upon us

Summertime is upon us and that means that there are only a few short months left before the mid-term elections. During this time, many candidates will present their philosophies and ideas to the people about how they will serve them and improve the efficiency of their government. For those of us seeking re-election, one of the most common questions we get is, “what have you done so far?” It is a fair and direct question that can be answered in different ways. Today, I have chosen to highlight some of our biggest victories and the recognition that your Senate seat (I just sit in it for you) has received from advocacy groups and organizations from across the State of Florida.

In 2017, your Senator was recognized as the Legislator of the Year from the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) in recognition of the service and dedication to the children of Florida. The Florida Coalition for Children’s mission is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf. Each year, this organization helps over 50,000 children and families in crisis. I am proud to work alongside this great organization. [Read more…]

Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

6/16/18

Florida is home to more than three million seniors. Many retire to Florida, bringing with them a lifetime of memories, wisdom and their life savings. Too often scammers target our seniors in an effort to steal their hard-earned retirement money. This is despicable.

Our seniors deserve honor and respect. They served in WWII and Korea, made the economy boom and played a major role in strengthening our state and nation. Anyone who preys on these great citizens in their golden years is lower than dirt, and my office will aggressively investigate anyone targeting them.

Just this week, working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, we stopped a scam targeting Spanish-speaking seniors in grocery store parking lots. The scammers claimed to have a winning lottery ticket that they could not claim because of immigration status. [Read more…]