Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 39 • October 07, 2011

This week, I was proud to join my partners in the Florida Legislature to unveil legislative initiatives that will protect consumers from timeshare resale fraud and establish a task force to study prescription drug abuse and newborns.

Last legislative session, we were able to create tougher administrative and criminal penalties targeting pill mills. The Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns bill, which is sponsored by Senator Joe Negron and Representative Kelli Stargel, will address a growing trend in prescription drug abuse—newborns experiencing neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome.

In hospitals across our state, babies are born addicted to prescription drugs and are suffering from this syndrome – a collection of symptoms that can occur in a newborn that has been exposed to drugs while in the womb. The task force would be charged with examining the scope of the problem, the costs associated with caring for babies with neonatal withdrawal syndrome, the long-term effects of the syndrome, and strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers. A thorough examination of this emerging problem now will help us develop sound prevention strategies for the future.

In another legislative initiative intended to protect Floridians, Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, Representative Eric Eisnaugle, and I announced a bill that strengthens laws to prevent timeshare resale fraud. Since January 2011, the Attorney General's Office has received 6,863 complaints related to timeshare resale fraud. While my Office has been aggressively pursuing unscrupulous timeshare resale companies, additional enforcement tools are needed to combat this growing problem. The bill enhances existing laws by addressing unfair and deceptive marketing and advertising practices by timeshare resale companies. I will not allow unscrupulous individuals to mislead and defraud Florida's consumers.



I look forward to working with the Florida Senate, the House of Representatives and the Governor to pass strong legislation that protects Floridians.

In the News
St. Petersburg Times - Bondi: 'Focused on doing what's right'
Orlando Sentinel - Legislation would crack down on time-share resale companies
St. Petersburg Times - Attorney General Pam Bondi calls for study of prescription abuse effects on newborns
Ft. Myers News Press - Addicted babies need task force

Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Bondi Announces Arrest of Gadsden County Caregiver for Abuse

Attorney General Bondi announced that Darrius L. Young of Midway was arrested on Thursday and charged with abuse of an adult with disabilities. Young, a Gadsden County resident, was taken into custody by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and he has been charged with abuse of a disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit.


Events
Attorney General Bondi Participates in City of Lakeland Proclamation of Red Ribbon Month

On Monday, Attorney General Bondi spoke at the City of Lakeland Proclamation of Red Ribbon Month, and she thanked Mayor Fields, the Lakeland City Commission, and the InnerAct Alliance for their commitment to preventing substance abuse in their community. By raising awareness about substance abuse prevention, we can save lives.


Attorney General Bondi Presents Resolution Recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month

Attorney General Bondi presented a resolution during Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month. Attorney General Bondi also promoted the employment of persons with disabilities.






Attorney General Bondi Recognizes the 2011 Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year

Attorney General Bondi presented a resolution to Corporal Cale Stevens of the Florida Highway Patrol during Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting, recognizing him as the 2011 Trooper of the Year. Corporal Stevens was honored for his off-duty heroic actions that saved a man’s life.





Attorney General Bondi Discusses Proposed Legislation at Community Leaders Forum

At the Gray Robinson Community Leaders Forum in Orlando on Thursday, Attorney General Bondi discussed past legislative successes and her upcoming legislative agenda.

Attorney General Bondi Speaks at The Spring’s Gift of Peace Breakfast

On Friday, Attorney General Bondi spoke at The Spring’s Annual Gift of Peace Breakfast and thanked them for touching the lives of so many victims of domestic violence. The Attorney General’s Office helps protect victims of domestic violence and supports victim advocacy organizations throughout the state.