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CFO Sink Announces Significant Increase in Completed Funeral and Cemetery Investigations

8/14/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2009
CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Nina Banister, 850-413-2842
 
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN COMPLETED FUNERAL AND CEMETERY INVESTIGATIONS
 

TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink announced today that her Department of Financial Services’ Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services has recorded 30 investigations completed and presented for disciplinary action to the probable cause panel of their Board for the first half of this year, compared to just 4 in the same time period in 2008.  This increase reflects CFO Sink’s commitment to strong enforcement and protection for Floridians.
 
The improvements began when CFO Sink appointed two experienced Department attorneys to lead the Division of Funeral and Cemetery and improve litigation management processes.  Also, CFO Sink’s Division of Legal Services has provided training to investigators, leading to more effective investigations and a sharp increase in completed investigations.  As a result, the probable cause panel of the Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services is meeting more regularly to address the six-fold increase in investigations being presented.
 
“We are dedicated to ensuring consumers receive high-quality service and are protected from those licensees who are not committed to these high standards,” CFO Sink said.
 
For instance, at its most recent meeting, the Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services voted to revoke the license of Morning Glory Funeral Chapel of Tampa after finding that the funeral establishment owner Harold Jones acted as a funeral director without a license and handled remains without required training. The Board took the action after the three-member probable cause panel upheld the findings of the division’s investigation. 
 
The Board’s probable cause panel is charged with reviewing findings from Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services’ investigations.  If the panel finds that probable cause exists to believe a violation occurred, it directs the department to file a formal complaint against the licensee. The licensee can then elect a formal hearing at the Division of Administrative Hearings or an informal hearing before the board.  The board’s meeting schedule is posted at: www.MyFloridaCFO.com/FuneralCemetery/.
 
For more information about the Division of Funeral and Cemetery, the probable cause panel or consumers wishing to file a complaint about a funeral home or cemetery should visit MyFloridaCFO.com or call the CFO’s Consumer Helpline at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (877-693-5236) or 1-850-413-3089.
 
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