Strike Force Members
Chair - Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater, a fifth-generation Floridian, was elected Florida's Chief Financial Officer November 2, 2010. Guided by his family's time-honored tradition of serving the community, CFO Atwater was inspired by his parents' values, instilling a hard work ethic, a commitment to family, and a deep sense of appreciation for service to community.
His late father, John Stafford Atwater, was a World War II fighter pilot and accomplished FBI agent who later became police chief of the Village of North Palm Beach. His mother was a teacher and continues to serve as a community volunteer. CFO Atwater's commitment to public service first began in 1993 when he served as Vice Mayor of North Palm Beach.
In 2000, he began his legislative service as a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Two years later, he ran for and was elected to the Florida Senate where he continued to serve the people of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. After chairing high profile Senate committees, CFO Atwater gained the unanimous support of his fellow Senators in becoming Senate President and led the Senate from 2008 through 2010. In the Legislature, CFO Atwater dedicated his 10 years of service to improving the lives of Floridians by lowering taxes, protecting key investments in early childhood education, raising school performance standards and establishing incentives that attract emerging industries to Florida.
As a community banker of more than 25 years, his background provides him with unique insights in banking, insurance, finance, fiscal responsibility and the burden that taxes and regulations place on small businesses and families. CFO Atwater's belief that Florida can best prosper through its people rather than its government is the cornerstone of his platform to reduce the burden on Florida's families by spending every taxpayer dime in the most efficient and effective manner.
Vice Chair - Attorney General Pam Bondi
A graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson Law School, Attorney General Bondi served as a front-line prosecutor for over 18 years. Bondi’s investigative and courtroom experience includes the successful prosecution of numerous first-degree murder cases and two capital cases.
Bondi served as Felony Bureau Chief and a key member of internal homicide, vehicular homicide, and DUI manslaughter committees. She also served on the Executive Committee responsible for budget, personnel and legal strategies.
Bondi has served as the Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, is active with the Tampa Bay United Way and the Children’s Board, and is a member of the Junior League Board of Directors, and the University of Florida Gator Club Board of Directors.
A native of Tampa, Pam Bondi is a fourth generation Floridian and hails from a family dedicated to service, including three generations of educators.
Secretary Elizabeth Dudek, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
As Secretary, Ms. Dudek oversees the operations of the Florida Medicaid Program, the Division of Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis, along with managing a $19 billion budget. Ms. Dudek has over thirty years of health care experience; ranging from direct care work with developmentally disabled individuals in a state institution to testifying for the agency as an expert in health planning.
Secretary David Wilkins of the Department of Children and Families
Secretary David Wilkins brings decades of experience in business and charitable leadership to the Florida Department of Children and Families. Secretary Wilkins retired recently from Accenture after a 29-year career with the company. For the past five years, he was in charge of the global sales organization of the Accenture Health and Public Service business, which operates in more than 25 countries and generated sales of near $4 billion. Secretary Wilkins was an active volunteer at the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes for the past 14 years. During his tenure, the number of children in care increased by 350 percent and the endowment tripled.
Commissioner Gerald M. Bailey, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Gerald M. Bailey was appointed Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Dec. 5, 2006 by Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet. Prior to his appointment, Bailey served as FDLE's Interim Commissioner and previously served as the Inspector General for the Florida Lottery for seven years. Bailey has more than 30 years of law enforcement and investigative experience, including a long career with FDLE.
State Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong, FACS
Dr. Armstrong is a graduate of Princeton University, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has previously served as Chief Medical Officer of the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation; Surgical Director of the USF Health American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute; and Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine, in Tampa, FL. Before this, he was Trauma Medical Director at Shands at the University of Florida Medical Center in Gainesville, FL, and a 2011 Exemplary Teacher at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney
Since 1993, Katherine Fernandez Rundle has served Miami-Dade County as State Attorney. Prior to that, she dedicated 15 years as an Assistant State Attorney. As legal counsel to the Dade County Grand Jury, she presented hundreds of murder and capital cases and oversaw the issuance of reports that initiated major reforms in the areas of juvenile justice and revision of the building code following Hurricane Andrew.
Sheriff Ric L. Bradshaw, Palm Beach County
Sheriff Bradshaw is a career law enforcement professional responsible for leading the largest law enforcement agency in Palm Beach County. Sheriff Bradshaw has a successful track record of 38 years in law enforcement, rising through the ranks of the City of West Palm Beach Police Department. He is the Chairman of the County's Domestic Security Task Force, a member of the Executive Board of the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force and has been designated Who's Who in Academic Excellence in America.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County
Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He previously served with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement where he created the country's first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft, named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country. He has been honored as an FDLE Special Agent of the Year and for Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice, as well as for his work at the national level as a victim’s advocate.
Dennis M. Jones, Police Chief, Tallahassee Police Department
Chief Jones is a graduate of Penn State University and the
F.B.I. National Academy, and has over 30 years of law
enforcement experience. He has committed his life to public
service and protecting the people he serves. By joining
forces with local businesses, community leaders, and
parents, Chief Jones strives for a community partnership in
solving criminal activity. Trust, Loyalty and Commitment are
the fundamental foundations through which Chief Jones guides
the Tallahassee Police Department.
Juan Jesus Santana, Division Chief, Miami-Dade Police Department
Chief Juan Santana, a native of South Florida, started his career with the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1982. During his law enforcement tenure, he has received countless commendations and departmental service awards for exceptional performance. During the past 15 years, Chief Santana has specialized in commanding numerous investigative entities, including but not limited to, investigating criminal misconduct involving local government agencies and government officials. Currently, Chief Santana is assigned to the Special investigations Division, which encompasses the Economic Crimes, Warrants and Narcotics Bureaus.
Charles T. Faircloth, Executive Director, Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has announced the appointment of attorney and fraud investigator Charles T. (Chuck) Faircloth as the Executive Director of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force. CFO Atwater signaled that Faircloth’s broad experience fighting fraud and false claims against the State of Florida, along with his criminal investigation background, will be tremendous assets for the Strike Force.
“Chuck Faircloth’s strong background in Medicaid fraud and criminal investigation, coupled with his extensive multi-agency program experience, makes him a great fit for the Executive Director position,” said CFO Atwater.
CFO Atwater chairs the Strike Force. Its mission is to oversee and coordinate state and local efforts to eliminate Medicaid and Public Assistance fraud and to recover state and federal funds. The Strike Force also provides recommendations and policy alternatives to the Chief Financial Officer.
Faircloth is a career fraud prosecutor and investigations manager for the State of Florida. He began his career with the Office of the Attorney General in 1990. Faircloth most recently served as Managing Attorney for Criminal Law with the Department of Financial Services and Counsel to the Strike Force. Faircloth previously served as Inspector General for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and as Chief Assistant Attorney General for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, part of the Office of the Attorney General. He also served as Chief of Workers' Compensation Fraud for DFS’ predecessor agency, the Florida Department of Insurance.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STRIKE FORCE
The enabling legislation directed that the Strike Force serve in an advisory capacity and provide recommendations and policy alternatives to help achieve the overall mission of the Strike Force: “to eliminate Medicaid and public assistance fraud and to recover state and federal funds,” Section 624.351(2), Florida Statutes. To help the Strike Force achieve its purpose, in Section 624.351(6)(a) the Legislature authorized the Strike Force to advise on activities to include, but not be limited to:
- Conducting a census of local, state, and federal efforts to address Medicaid and public assistance fraud in this state, including fraud detection, prevention, and prosecution, in order to discern overlapping missions, maximize existing resources, and strengthen current programs.
- Developing a strategic plan for coordinating and targeting state and local resources for preventing and prosecuting Medicaid and public assistance fraud. The plan must identify methods to enhance multiagency efforts that contribute to achieving the state’s goal of eliminating Medicaid and public assistance fraud.
- Identifying methods to implement innovative technology and data sharing in order to detect and analyze Medicaid and public assistance fraud with speed and efficiency.
- Establishing a program to provide grants to state and local agencies that develop and implement effective Medicaid and public assistance fraud prevention, detection, and investigation programs, which are evaluated by the strike force and ranked by their potential to contribute to achieving the state’s goal of eliminating Medicaid and public assistance fraud. The grant program may also provide startup funding for new initiatives by local and state law enforcement or administrative agencies to combat Medicaid and public assistance fraud.
- Developing and promoting crime prevention services and educational programs that serve the public, including, but not limited to, a well-publicized rewards program for the apprehension and conviction of criminals who perpetrate Medicaid and public assistance fraud.
- Providing grants, contingent upon appropriation, for multiagency or state and local Medicaid and public assistance fraud efforts, which include, but are not limited to:
- a. Providing for a Medicaid and public assistance fraud prosecutor in the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.
- b. Providing assistance to state attorneys for support services or equipment, or for the hiring of assistant state attorneys, as needed, to prosecute Medicaid and public assistance fraud cases.
- c. Providing assistance to judges for support services or for the hiring of senior judges, as needed, so that Medicaid and public assistance fraud cases can be heard expeditiously.
The legislation also authorized the Strike Force to receive periodic reports from state agencies, law enforcement officers, investigators, prosecutors, and coordinating teams regarding Medicaid and public assistance criminal and civil investigations. Such reports may include discussions regarding significant factors and trends relevant to a statewide Medicaid and public assistance fraud strategy.