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.
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
“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
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
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
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.
CFO SINK DELIVERS AWARDS FROM INTERAGENCY ADVISORY COUNCIL ON
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
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
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
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.
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
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 325