JaxPoliticsOnline.com

Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Insider Contracts and Florida’s Clerks of Courts

Debate over consolidating some of the duties of Florida’s Clerk’s of Courts into the state’s Judicial branch has taken an interesting twist.  Proponents of the change, which they say would save millions of taxpayer dollars, have uncovered an interesting fact—the clerk’s of courts around the state are overwhelmingly doing business with a contractor who is married to the president of the state association.  From the Palm Beach Post:

Nearly two-thirds of the state’s clerks of court have contracts with a collections vendor who is married to the clerks’ association president.

Columbia County Clerk of Court Dewitt Cason also hired his wife Sherri’s business, S.C. Services and Associates Inc., to collect outstanding fines. Sherri Cason is vice president of the Lake City-based business, according to state records.

Forty-one of the 67 county clerks of courts, including St. Lucie County’s, contract with S.C. Services, according to information revealed at the House Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

State law allows the clerks to pay a collections vendor up to 40 percent of the fees and fines collected. Dewitt Cason hired his wife at the maximum amount, 40 percent – the same amount the business receives from the other counties.

Duval County’s Clerk of Court has faced criticism in the past for providing links to traffic school vendors who are associated with employees of the Clerk, but they told JaxPoliticsOnline.com today that they have not done business with SC Services.

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