On Thursday, the Clemency Board had its first meeting of 2011. At the end of the meeting, I shared that I fundamentally and philosophically oppose the concept of the automatic restoration of civil rights. I believe that every convicted felon must actively apply for the restoration of his or her rights and that there should be a mandatory waiting period before applying.

It is my hope that the board enacts revised rules that protect Floridians while creating a fair process to restore deserving felons’ rights. Initiating the restoration of civil rights should not be an automatic process for which government is responsible. Instead, the responsibility for initiating the restoration of civil rights should rest with the individual whose actions resulted in those rights being taken in the first place. I look forward to the March 9th Clemency Board meeting with my colleagues to discuss rules to better protect Floridians.

In addition to sharing my philosophy on the restoration of civil rights, this week I filed papers opposing the Department of Justice’s motion to "clarify" the court decision striking down the health care law. As I noted in my filing, no clarification is necessary—the judge clearly expects the federal government to respect his ruling and refrain from enforcing the health care law against Florida. The Department of Justice’s motion is obviously a mere stalling tactic.

I have called on President Obama and his administration to stop these unnecessary delays and instead join the states in an expedited appeal. This case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’s in everyone’s interests that the case get there as quickly as possible. In any event, I will continue to fight back against the health care law and its unprecedented expansion of federal power and intrusion on individual liberty.
Pam Bondi
Protecting Floridians

On Sunday, Attorney General Bondi was interviewed by Fox News regarding scams against seniors and the Attorney General’s Office Seniors vs. Crimes program. The program was launched in 1989, and it teaches seniors how to protect themselves and their fellow citizens.

On Friday, Attorney General Bondi participated as the vice-chair in the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force meeting. The Attorney General’s Office has been aggressively investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud since 1994. Just since 2007, the Attorney General’s Office has recovered more than $490 million and is committed to continuing those efforts. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is staffed with attorneys, investigators, auditors, medical investigators, and analysts. This team approach brings a wealth of individualized expertise to an investigation, which is a necessary approach in the complex field of health care fraud.

Topics of Interest

On Wednesday, Attorney General Bondi met with Senator Marco Rubio, who was in Tallahassee to address the Florida House of Representatives Republican Caucus. Senator Rubio and Attorney General Bondi discussed the health care lawsuit and other office priorities, including the Attorney General’s anti-pill mill initiative and her fight against the so-called “fake cocaine” sold under the guise of “bath salts.”

This week, Attorney General Bondi spoke at meetings of the Florida Retail Federation and the Florida Association of Property Appraisers, where she shared her vision for her tenure as Attorney General of Florida. Among other things, Attorney General Bondi emphasized the importance of ensuring a fair and reasonable regulatory environment, creating safe communities, and supporting Florida’s economy through a comprehensive approach to make Florida the best place to do business.

Students from the Hernando Christian Academy stopped by Attorney General Bondi's office during their visit to the Capitol. Attorney General Bondi talked to them about the role of the Florida Attorney General and about the agency's different responsibilities. She asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up –answers included professional athlete, judge, artist, and, of course, attorney.

Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a statement Tuesday after the heartbreaking death of a St. Petersburg police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

The Office of Statewide Prosecution released the final report of the 19th Statewide Grand Jury on Public Corruption. The report outlines their examination of the Broward County School Board and their resulting recommendations.