Volume 5 Number 19
May 9, 2008

Each year the Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police and Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary sponsor a memorial to pay tribute to law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. The event is attended by friends and family members of the fallen officers and hundreds of law enforcement officers from Key West to Pensacola. This year’s ceremony included a roll call of the fallen heroes, police bagpipers playing Amazing Grace, the release of butterflies, and concluded with a twenty-one gun salute by members of the Florida Highway Patrol Rifle Team.



A total of 16 law enforcement officers were killed in 2007, making Florida the 2nd deadliest state in the country for officers who lost their lives while in the line of duty. Their names will be inscribed on the memorial granite wall that is on display in the courtyard grounds of the capitol, as well as the national law enforcement officer memorial in Washington, D.C.



Alan Crotzer watches as Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink signs the agreement. From left to right: Jude John Blue, Senator Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa), CFO Sink, Attorney Mike Olenick, Alan Crotzer and wife Quebella.

 

CFO SINK SIGNS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT FOR ALAN CROTZER

Florida Chief Financial Alex Sink signed an agreement for the state of Florida to provide a $1.25 million settlement to compensate Alan Jerome Crotzer for more than 24 years of wrongful incarceration.

“The compensation provided by the State of Florida today is no match for the pain caused during Alan’s 24 years of wrongful imprisonment,” said CFO Sink. “However, I thank the Florida Legislature for appropriating these funds in order to restore some sense of justice in Mr. Crotzer’s life.”



Crotzer was arrested and prosecuted in 1981 for crimes he did not commit, which included robbery with a weapon, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and rape. He received a 130-year prison sentence. Despite an appeal, Crotzer served over 24 years in prison, until a DNA test confirmed his innocence. He was exonerated on January 23, 2006.

During the 2008 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed HB 7037, a bill to compensate Crotzer for his wrongful incarceration. The bill provided $1.25 million to fund an annuity for Mr. Crotzer. Under this annuity, he will receive an initial lump sum payment of $250,000 and receive $6,700 per month for 20 years. Compensation to Mr. Crotzer will begin on June 1, 2008. State Representative Ray Sansom (R-Fort Walton Beach) and State Senators Dave Aronberg (D-Greenacres) and Alex Villalobos (R-Miami) sponsored the bill.

STATE FIRE MARSHAL SINK PROMOTES ARSON AWARENESS WEEK

This week, Florida State Fire Marshal Alex Sink joined the United States Fire Administration during Arson Awareness Week in recognizing the dangers of toylike lighters. This year’s theme is “Toylike Lighters—Playing with Fire.”

“Novelty lighters are not toys, and children playing with toylike lighters are at extreme risk,” said State Fire Marshal Sink. “Arson Awareness Week was an important opportunity to help educate Floridians and to recognize our Fire Marshals committed to combating arson.”

The goal of this year’s Arson Awareness Week was to focus public attention on the dangers of toylike or novelty lighters in the hands of children. Toylike or novelty lighters have been responsible for injuries, deaths, and accidents across the nation. Children are attracted to novelty lighters because they look like toys. Many of these lighters look like animals, miniature cars, mobile phones, cameras, fishing lures, stacks of coins, markers and doll accessories. Some novelty lighters also look like tools, such as tape measures, drills, hammers and paint brushes.

The State Fire Marshall’s Office hosted events throughout Florida recognizing Arson Awareness Week, including coloring contests, demonstrations, educational school visits, meetings and essay contests.

AT THE CAR WASH: CFO SINK KICKS OFF PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink invited Department of Financial Services (DFS) employees to have their cars washed in recognition of their hard work on behalf of Florida taxpayers.



On a beautiful spring day in Tallahassee, CFO Sink washed 76 employees' cars with the help of division directors and senior staff on the top deck of the Larson Building parking garage.



Public Service Recognition Week, May 5 – 11, is in recognition of public service employees who contribute significantly to the efficient and effective operation of the State of Florida. DFS Chief of Staff Jim Cassady and senior staff members served complimentary refreshments in DFS building break rooms.

 



R.J. Castellanos, Interim Director of the Division of Risk Management and CFO Sink address the award winners.

CFO SINK DELIVERS AWARDS FROM INTERAGENCY ADVISORY COUNCIL ON LOSS PREVENTION
 
Florida Chief Financial Alex Sink handed out 32 awards for excellence in loss prevention on behalf of the Interagency Advisory Council (IAC) on Loss Prevention, made up of 44 state agencies and universities,
 
Award winners received gold, silver and bronze awards, recognizing their outstanding efforts in loss prevention though an objective comparison of their safety program to established best practices in loss prevention. During the award ceremony six gold and 13 silver and bronze medals were awarded to the best safety programs in the state for 2007.

 

The Legislature established the IAC on Loss Prevention in 1979. It is composed of the safety coordinators from each state department, representatives designated by the Division of State Fire Marshal, and the Division of Risk Management. The council meets quarterly to discuss and find solutions for safety problems within state government and is charged with sending an annual report to the Governor by January 15th preceding any regular legislative session any actions taken to prevent job-related employee accidents, together with suggestions of safeguards and improvements.

The council is further authorized to provide for the recognition of employees, agents and volunteers who make exceptional contributions to the reduction and control of employment-related accidents.


 

 

 

CFO SINK ENCOURAGES FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN 2008 NATIONAL FINANCIAL LITERACY CHALLENGE

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is encouraging Florida high school students and teachers to participate in the 2008 National Financial Literacy Challenge (NFLC), available online until May 16, 2008. The President Advisory Council on Financial Literacy prompted the U.S. Department of Treasury to encourage financial literacy education among students by enacting the NFLC competition.

The test is available at no cost online at http://FLC.treas.gov/teacher. High school teachers must first register their class at the above link before their students are eligible to participate.

For more information on CFO Sink's financial literacy efforts please visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.


 

 

 

 

GIRLS GOING PLACES FINANCIAL LITERACY CONFERENCE IN FT. MYERS

On May 7, 2008, CFO Sink’s Fort Myers Consumer Services office, represented by Terry Cerullo, assisted in coordinating the annual financial literacy conference, Girls Going Places, at Florida Gulf Coast University.

A national program sponsored by The Guardian Life Insurance Company, Girls Going Places is designed to educate girls between the ages of 12 and 18 about financial independence and becoming a future entrepreneur.

The Southwest conference is sponsored by the Alliance Financial Group. Lynn Tarman, the conference’s lead organizer, said the program is designed to allow girls to meet professionals from a wide range of fields. This year, R. Jai Howard, a representative of CFO Sink, served as a mentor and worked with the girls on various financial literacy projects.

This is the second year that the CFO's office participated, and the 9th anniversary of the conference.  A group of 138 young women from Southwest Florida participated in the day-long event, meeting with teachers and educators within the region and learning about different financial literacy programs.

Each girl received a FCEE Financial Freedom workbook and a "Wheels, Deals and Spiels" financial guide for young consumers from the CFO's office.


Money-Smart
Idea of the Week

Idea: Visit Florida!

Want to pinch a penny while enjoying a relaxing, exhilarating, or adventurous vacation? Jump in the car and see our beautiful state. From scenic trails, state parks, bubbling springs, romantic beaches, wildlife and flowers to theme parks, jet skis and night life, Florida has it all. Take your summer break close to home and visit a part of Florida you haven't yet explored.

VisitFlorida.com has great regional or themed drive trips that will reintroduce the benefits of living so close to some of the nation’s finest vacation spots. They also offer money-saving ideas for budget-conscious travelers. Save some money this year and support Florida’s local economy by enjoying the sunshine state!

 


CFO SINK ADDRESSES FLORIDA SOCIETY OF ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES

CFO Sink spoke to the Florida Society of Association Executives in Tallahassee on Tuesday during one of their 2008 Executive Series Lunches.

With more than 800 executive and associate members in Florida, including those managing trade and professional associations, individual membership societies, charitable organizations, and other not-for-profit organizations, FSAE is the leading voice and resource for information on associations. FSAE represents over 600 associations employing over 60,000 Floridians.


ESCAMBIA COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON, INSURANCE FRAUD FOR BOAT FIRE

Florida State Fire Marshal and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the arrest of an Escambia County man on charges he set fire to his boat in order to collect the insurance proceeds.

John Clifford Wilson IV, 34, of Pensacola allegedly set fire to his 18-foot 1987 Randall Craft fishing boat while on the Escambia Bay in March of 2008. Following the fire, Wilson submitted a claim to Progressive Select Insurance in the amount of $18,000 for loss of the boat and contents inside.

Charges against Wilson, arrested Thursday, include one count of arson and one count of insurance fraud. If convicted he faces up to 25 years in prison.

These charges followed a joint investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Division of Insurance Fraud, the Department of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the United States Coast Guard and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON). Information may also be mailed to: The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, 105A Lewis Street, suite 103 Ft Walton Beach, Florida 32547.