'78 Opinion a Factor in Clay Case?

By Cravey, Beth Reese | The Florida Times Union, September 26, 1996 | Go to article overview

'78 Opinion a Factor in Clay Case?


Cravey, Beth Reese, The Florida Times Union


A Florida attorney general's opinion in 1978 indicates that Clay

County Clerk John Keene should not have used public money to pay

a substantial portion of a $60,000 legal bill he ran up after he

was accused of ethics violation.

Most of the legal bill -- $42,000 -- was incurred when Keene

tried to recoup $5,900 he spent defending himself in front of

the Florida Ethics Commission. The 1978 opinion says the Florida

Legislature never intended public officials to be reimbursed for

pursuing their own legal actions before the commission.

While the Attorney General's Office has not researched the

specifics in Keene's case, the 1978 opinion is the prevailing

one from the agency on this issue, Assistant Attorney General

Gerry Hammond said.

". . . Unless the statutes have changed or there were [court]

cases subsequent to this," she said, "and there are none that we

are aware of."

Hammond said an attorney general's opinion is "our best legal

advice," not established case law.

In July 1995, Keene wrote a $60,830 check on the clerk's

operating account to the Jacksonville law firm of Marks, Gray,

Conroy & Gibbs. That firm represented Keene and his finance

director, Don Moore, in Ethics Commission complaints filed

against them by former County Commissioner Ron Stotler.

The complaints concerned the handling by the clerk's office,

which serves as the county's chief financial officer, of a 1993

county budget crisis.

Both complaints were ultimately dismissed. But Keene filed his

own Ethics Commission petition against Stotler, seeking to force

him to pay Keene's legal bills.

The petition failed, but Keene spent at least $42,200 in the

attempt, according to a TimesUnion analysis of Keene's legal

fees. The cost of defending the initial ethics complaint was

about $5,900.

Most of the rest of Keene's $60,830 payment went to defend

Moore, the analysis showed.

General case law authorizes public funds to be used to defend

government officials in certain legal situations that arise from

their public duties. But there has been no case law since the

1978 attorney general's opinion that specifically addresses the

use of public funds to recoup attorneys fees. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'78 Opinion a Factor in Clay Case?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.