BOARD SUSPENDS LICENSE OF FUNERAL
DIRECTOR WHO SENT FAMILY TWO SETS OF REMAINS FOR FATHER
A funeral director who sent two sets of ashes to a family has been ordered
to serve a six-month suspension and submit to other disciplinary measures.
The decision was rendered last week during a meeting of the Board of
Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services. The board falls under the
Department of Financial Services’ Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer
Leroy Sims, Jr., was funeral director in charge of the now-defunct Serenity
Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services, formerly located at 3301 5th Ave.
S., in St Petersburg. The funeral establishment went out of business and the
license expired on November 30, 2006. The DFS’ investigation was launched
after the department received a complaint from a man who received two sets
of cremated remains, both certified to be the remains of his father. Three
other cases against Sims, involving business practice violations, were also
brought before the board.
“Serving families who are grieving the loss of a loved one is an important
responsibility that must be handled with the utmost attention and dignity,”
said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who oversees the department.
“We will investigate and take action against any funeral director who fails
to provide the highest service that consumers deserve.”
In addition to the six-month suspension of his funeral director and embalmer
license, Sims was ordered to serve two years of probation following the
suspension; pay an administrative fine of $3,500; pay more than $2,800 in
restitution; complete 9 hours of continuing education courses on Florida
laws and rules within 60 days of the consent agreement; and take and pass
the Florida laws and rules examination prior to the lifting of suspension.
He also will receive a formal reprimand.
Kurt Schuller and Thurman Lowe of the Tampa office of the Division of
Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services were the investigators. Consumer can
file complaints or ask questions about funeral and cemetery services by
calling 1-800-323-2627 or by logging on to http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/FuneralCemetery/.