Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
This week, I met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and our great federal partners in Tampa to discuss strategies to combat the national opioid crisis claiming lives in Florida. We work constantly with the DOJ, FBI, DEA and our great state and local law enforcement agencies to capture and prosecute drug traffickers smuggling deadly heroin and fentanyl into our state.
My office is also aggressively investigating major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids, and will soon be selecting an outside counsel to advance our efforts. This national epidemic has cast its shadow on too many cities across America and far too many families have felt the devastating effect of addiction. That is why we must fight this crisis on multiple fronts.
The task at hand is great, but as a career prosecutor and a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis I am committed to combating this crisis.
A key component of this fight includes legislation aimed at stopping addiction before it begins. Florida lawmakers are making great progress on a bill to limit initial prescriptions for opioid-based painkillers. By limiting the amount of powerful painkillers prescribed in most cases of acute pain, we can decrease the likelihood that a patient becomes addicted.
I want to thank Attorney General Sessions, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Maria Chapa Lopez and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Division Jeff Walsh for their commitment to combat this crisis. I also want to thank Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Jim Boyd for sponsoring life-saving legislation to bolster our continued efforts.
Working together we will save lives.
Florida State Hospital Employee Arrested for Abusing a Disabled Person
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Baker County Sheriff’s Office arrested a former Northeast Florida State Hospital employee for abusing a disabled adult. Antrisa Fontae Butler, 27, a human services worker allegedly struck a schizophrenic resident multiple times in the head and neck.
During the course of the investigation, MFCU discovered Butler used non-approved training techniques against the disabled patient. Butler allegedly struck the victim in the chin and tackled the victim, causing the victim’s head to hit the floor and a door. The defendant continued the abusive behavior by pinning the victim down and punching the victim several times with a closed fist.
Evidentiary documents show Butler to be current on all required training related to restraint and physical interaction with patients. Butler faces one count of abuse of a disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Butler faces up to five years in prison and more than $5,000 in fines. The State Attorney’s Office for the Eight Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case.
On Thursday, Attorney General Pam Bondi joined Governor Rick Scott and fellow Cabinet members, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, for a meeting of the Florida Governor and Cabinet in Tampa at the 2018 Florida State Fair. Attorney General Bondi along with her colleagues participated in longtime traditions to kick off the fair. Attorney General Bondi and the Florida Cabinet with law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders flipped the switch to turn on the fair lights.
Attorney General Bondi introducing a resolution honoring Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich with the Lifetime of Service Award for her lifelong commitment to justice serving on the federal bench.
Attorney General Bondi introducing a resolution recognizing former State Attorney Mark Ober’s dedication as Hillsborough County’s State Attorney.
Attorney General Bondi introducing a resolution distinguishing retired Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee with the Lifetime of Public Service Hero Award.
Attorney General Bondi honoring hero Luigi Young for Salute to Heroes Day. Firefighter Young is being honored for saving his neighbor from a burning home.
Attorney General Bondi meeting with Future Farmers of America and 4-H students and addressing 400 attendees from Florida’s agriculture community.
Attorney General Bondi introducing the head table at the Annual Governor’s Luncheon.
Attorney General Bondi with fellow cabinet members CFO Patronis and Commissioner Putnam along with 4-H and FFA students taking a trip down the super slide at the Florida State Fair.
Attorney General Bondi addressing members and guests of the Federalist Society at the 2018 Annual Florida Chapters Conference Banquet. Martin Garcia introduced Attorney General Bondi to the Federalist Society.
Attorney General Bondi meeting with Gold Star Father Craig Gross. Mr. Gross is the pitmaster and owner of Frankie’s Patriot BBQ named in memory of his son CPL. Frank R. Gross.
Attorney General Bondi greeting Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and PIO Jerry Carey.