Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week, we continue to mourn the loss of two law enforcement heroes. Over the weekend, Kissimmee Police Sergeant Sam Howard, 36, and Officer Matt Baxter, 27, were ambushed by a coward with a gun. The officers were shot and later died from their injuries. The suspect was arrested at a bar hours after the shooting.
Sergeant Howard and Officer Baxter leave behind a legacy of service with honor and humility. These men faced danger every day but never wavered in their resolve to make their community a safer, better place to live. They were dedicated to changing the hearts and minds of misguided youth they encountered and to protecting the vulnerable.
These men died protecting and serving—and we honor their memory and strive to live up to the legacy they leave behind. My thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Howard and Officer Baxter’s families, friends and our entire law enforcement community.
We must ensure the suspect in their murders is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Their families deserve a prosecutor who is willing to consider all sentences, including the death penalty–that is why Governor Rick Scott and I agree the investigation and prosecution of this case had to be reassigned. Not long after the murders, Governor Scott issued an executive order reassigning the case from State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who vowed to never pursue the death penalty, to State Attorney Brad King. My office stands ready to offer any assistance State Attorney King may need to ensure justice is served.
Florida also lost another dedicated public servant this week. Former State Senator Greg Evers died in a car accident late Monday night. My prayers go out to his family and loved ones during this heartbreaking time. Senator Evers was a dedicated partner in protecting our children from dangerous synthetic drugs and defending our constitution. He will be greatly missed.
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes 25th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew and Urges Preparedness
Twenty-five years ago Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida. The Category 5 storm caused more than $25 billion worth of property damage and caused 44 direct and indirect fatalities in Florida. In the aftermath of the storm, looting, repair scams and price gouging complaints were reported to law enforcement and the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
“When Andrew hit 25 years ago, dozens of lives were lost, people were left homeless and businesses and entire neighborhoods were destroyed,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We cannot prevent a massive storm like Hurricane Andrew from impacting our state, but if we prepare now, we can minimize the damage and keep ourselves and our families safe.” More.
Woman Arrested for Exploiting a Disabled Adult
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office arrested Eboni Roshondra Montgomery Henderson for exploiting a disabled Leon County resident. According to the MFCU investigation, Henderson, 33, used the victim’s Social Security and retirement funds for personal gain rather than the victim’s nursing care. Henderson allegedly deposited the victim’s funds directly into the defendant’s bank account monthly and purchased a van with that money. More.
Manatee County Resident Arrested Third Time for Exploitation
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Manatee County resident on eight felony charges related to a scheme to exploit elderly or disabled clients. According to the MFCU investigation, Makynen falsified documents in order to claim clients’ security deposits for himself. More.
Gainesville Doctor Sentenced for 162 Counts of Health Care Fraud
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced the sentencing of a Gainesville physician to a year in prison and more than two million dollars in fines and restitution for health care fraud. In May, Ona M. Colasante, 60, was convicted of 162 counts of health care fraud. As part of the sentence, the Court also orders Colasante to perform 1,200 hours community service while serving a term of three years of supervised release. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi with Governor Rick Scott and fellow Cabinet members, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Attorney General Bondi is pleased to welcome CFO Patronis to the Florida Cabinet.
Attorney General Bondi discussing efforts to combat drug abuse at the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Executive Management Conference in Orlando.
Attorney General Bondi visiting with DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, A.D. Wright, and DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, Jaime Camacho, at the Conference.
Attorney General Bondi, joined by Chief Assistant Attorney General Sarah Shullman, thanking Senior Legal Assistance Patricia DeRamus for her dedicated service to Floridians. Last month, the National Association of Legal Assistants awarded Patricia NALA’s Making a Difference Award for contributions to her community.
Attorney General Bondi thanking Richard Polin, Bureau Chief of the Miami Criminal Appeals Division, for his many years of public service. Richard is retiring in a month after 33 years with the Florida Attorney General’s Office.