Office of Statewide Prosecution
2000 Annual Report
with Caseload and Financial Statistics for Fiscal Year 1999-2000

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Office of Statewide Prosecution is authorized to investigate and prosecute multi-circuit organized crime.

In FY 1999-2000, the Office handled a total volume of 875 complex criminal investigations and filed cases. The conviction rate was 93%. The dispositions achieved are detailed herein. Financial benefit to the citizens of the State in the form of assessed fines, penalties, and restitution amounted to almost $19 million dollars. The priorities of the Office are as follows: (1) white collar crime (including health care fraud, government contract fraud, insurance fraud, telemarketing fraud, title loan fraud, securities fraud, and fraud against the elderly); (2) computer crimes (including identity theft, fraud, and child pornography); and (3) violent offenses, including narcotics trafficking and money laundering perpetrated by organized groups. 

The Office utilizes a police/prosecutor team approach in these multi-offender, multi-offense, multi-jurisdictional criminal cases. The goal of the teams is to dismantle the organizations through effective prosecution and civil, administrative, and regulatory sanctions where appropriate. To achieve this goal, the staff relies on four fundamental values: justice, integrity, innovation, and commitment. In FY 1999-2000, the Office worked with 107 law enforcement agencies, and 104 task forces throughout the State. In the annual law enforcement survey, 96% of the agencies indicated a very positive working relationship with the Office. 

The results of the Office are measured by conviction rates, disposition results, law enforcement and victim satisfaction surveys, and audits. Additional measures involve professional development of staff and the extent to which the Office is involved in criminal justice policy and training. All of these indicators, as detailed herein, demonstrate success. This past year the Office was commended in two cabinet resolutions and received a Davis Productivity Award. 

The Office of Statewide Prosecution, with its specialized assignments and multi-circuit jurisdiction, fills a unique role in Florida's criminal justice system. We believe this report illustrates its effectiveness.

Melanie Ann Hines
Statewide Prosecutor
January, 2001

I. INTRODUCTION

The Office of Statewide Prosecution was created by constitutional amendment passed by the voters in 1986. Article IV, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution, together with Section 16.56, of the Florida Statutes, sets forth the jurisdiction and authority of the Office.

The mission of the Office is to investigate and prosecute multi-circuit organized crime and to assist other law enforcement officials in their efforts against organized crime.

Pursuant to Section 16.56 (2), Florida Statutes, this report is submitted to the Governor and the Attorney General of the State of Florida. A copy is also provided to the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court and the leadership of the Florida Legislature.

II. INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS

A. Caseload Statistics
[Consistent with the Long Range Planning Report and the Legislative Budget Request, caseload data is reported herein on a fiscal year basis.]

The active caseload of the Office includes: (1) cases filed in FY 1999-2000; (2) cases filed in prior years which remained in litigation during FY 1999-2000; (3) long-term, complex criminal investigations; and (4) Statewide Grand Jury presentations.

1. Cases Filed in FY 1999-2000
In FY 1999-2000, the Office filed over 5,000 criminal charges against 429 defendants in 220 complex, multi-circuit cases.

 The criminal charges filed by the Office are among the most serious felonies prohibited by law. They are often joined together in Racketeering indictments. These charges are: Bribery, Burglary, Usury, Extortion, Gambling, Kidnapping, Theft, Murder, Prostitution, Perjury, Robbery, Home-Invasion Robbery, Car-Jacking, Narcotics Violations, Antitrust Violations, Anti-Fencing Violations, Crimes Involving Fraud and Deceit, Computer Pornography, and Attempts, Solicitations, or Conspiracies to commit these offenses. 

The charges were filed in 28 counties: Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Columbia, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, & Volusia.

2. Total Inventory of Filed Cases Handled in FY 1999-2000
In FY 1999-2000, the Office handled a total inventory of 402 filed cases against 651 defendants. These cases were in various stages of active litigation during FY 1999-2000. Of these, 355 defendants in 203 cases reached disposition on 3,122 counts, while 2,536 counts against 296 defendants remained open at the end of the fiscal year.

3. Active Investigations Pending in FY 1999-2000
The caseload of the Office includes legal and operational assistance to law enforcement officers in major criminal investigations and task force operations. In FY 1999-2000 the Office received 432 new requests from law enforcement to assist in their investigations of multi-circuit organized criminal activity. The total inventory of active investigations during FY 1999-2000 was 473. 

The investigations were conducted by, or in coordination with, 107 separate law enforcement or regulatory agencies. 

4. Cases Disposed of in FY 1999-2000
In FY 1999-2000, the State prevailed in its cases against 352 of the 376 defendants reaching disposition, following a plea or trial, with a resulting conviction rate of 93%.

The sentences total:

Prison Terms:

914.5 years/1 Life

Jail time: 

15,708 days

Probation Terms:

1,537.2 years

Community Control:

49 years

Community Service Hours:

8,922

Victim Restitution:

$14,253,083

Number of Victims: 

4,694 (including 44 government agencies)

Fines:

$2,435,241

Court Costs:

$120,363

Costs of Prosecution:

$692,114

Costs of Investigation:

$1,400,708

Total Monetary Assessments:

$18,901,509

B. Statewide Grand Jury
Pursuant to Section 905.36, Florida Statutes, the Statewide Prosecutor and Assistants serve as legal advisers to the Statewide Grand Jury.

The Fifteenth Statewide Grand Jury was impaneled on September 22, 1999, and was seated in the Ninth Judicial Circuit: Orange County, Orlando. The panel was drawn from around the State. The Grand Jury met on twelve occasions to investigate allegations of multi-circuit, organized criminal activity. The Grand Jury's original term expired after twelve months, but was extended to March 20, 2001. The Grand Jury adjourned early, subject to recall, if necessary.

The Grand Jury received testimony regarding investigations into viatical insurance fraud, personal injury protection insurance fraud, fraud against the government, and trafficking in controlled substances. The Grand Jury issued 6 indictments charging 13 defendants and 2 corporations with a total of 138 crimes. The indictments allege the following criminal offenses: racketeering; grand theft; organized scheme to defraud; false and fraudulent insurance claims; trafficking in cocaine; conspiracy to traffic in cocaine; trafficking in heroin; and conspiracy to introduce or possess unlawful articles in prison.

In the area of insurance fraud, the Office also filed 41 additional criminal charges against 20 criminal defendants in 9 cases related to viatical fraud and fraud in the personal injury protection insurance line. Taken together with the Indictments, these criminal defendants were responsible for the theft of over $1,185,000.00 from a variety of private insurers in the State of Florida, all of which is ultimately passed on to the citizens in increased rates.

In the area of fraud against the government, the Grand Jury focused on State road building contracts which led to an indictment of a major road builder accused of defrauding the State of over $30 million.

In the area of narcotics, the Office charged 231 defendants in 80 cases with a variety of drug trafficking and money laundering offenses during the term of the Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury issued three reports during its term: (1) Fraud in the Viatical Industry; (2) Insurance Fraud Related to Personal Injury Protection (PIP Fraud); and (3) An Analysis of Florida's Drug Control Efforts.

The report on Viatical Fraud focused on the practice of "cleansheeting" where terminally ill individuals applied for insurance without disclosing their true medical condition, and then sold the policies to viatical providers for a profit. The providers then knowingly sold these fraudulently procured policies to unwitting investors. Numerous recommendations were directed to the 2000 Legislature, and most of them were adopted.

The "PIP Fraud" report details extensive fraud in the area of personal injury protection insurance, setting forth the methods by which "runners" access automobile accident reports in order to illegally solicit accident victims for treatment and for filing PIP claims, and subsequently, filing false claims based on fraudulent diagnoses and treatment procedures. The report recommends reforms in this area, which have been submitted to the Florida Legislature.

The report on narcotics concludes that treatment, prevention, and education are as essential as interdiction and enforcement and calls for action on both the demand and supply side of the drug problem. The report sets forth 25 recommendations for improvements in the State's response. These recommendations have been submitted to the Florida Legislature and the Governor.

Copies of grand jury reports are public record and available upon request or may be viewed on the Internet site: http://myfloridalegal.com/swp

C. The Police/Prosecutor Team Approach
The Office utilizes a police/prosecutor team approach to attack multi-offender, multi-offense, multi-jurisdictional criminal organizations. The goal of the teams is to dismantle these organizations through effective prosecution and civil, administrative, and regulatory sanctions where appropriate. This requires coordination with a number of law enforcement agencies and other executive branch agencies throughout the State. In short, every case involves detailed investigative planning using a "task force" approach, producing complex charging documents followed by intensive pre-trial motion activity, which may result in parallel litigation for civil remedies, all of which must be coordinated by the handling prosecutor.

1. In addition to the individual case teams, the Office created prosecution teams to handle as priority issues the following types of cases: insurance fraud; health care fraud, fraud against the government; crimes against the elderly; narcotics cases; and computer crimes. A priority leader coordinated with the Assistant Statewide Prosecutors handling these cases throughout the State to ensure consistency in investigative techniques, charges, procedures, and dispositions.

2. In 2000, the Office participated in:
The "Strike Force Against Fraudulent Enterprises" (SAFE), a coordinated effort of law enforcement agencies working together to combat fraud in Florida, staffed by FDLE.
The "States Working Interstate Fraud Together" (SWIFT) Task Force formed by the Comptroller
The Environmental Strike Force formed by the Department of Environmental Protection

The results achieved by these Task Forces and reports of their activities can be found on the Internet web-sites of the lead agencies. In addition, the Office worked with the following task forces at various times throughout the year:
Attorney General's Telemarketing Task Force
Brevard County Drug Task Force
Broward County Auto Theft Unit
Broward County Environmental Crimes Task Force
Broward County Gangs Task Force
Broward County Robbery Clearinghouse
Broward County Telemarketing Task Force
Central Florida Bank Fraud Workgroup
Central Florida Child Exploitation Task Force
Central Florida Criminal Justice Council
Central Florida Fraud and Forgery Task Force
Central Florida Intelligence Unit
Central Florida Narcotics Intelligence Unit
Central Florida Robbery Task Force
City/County Investigative Bureau in Sanford
Combined Law Enforcement Against Narcotics (C.L.E.A.N.)
Clay County Investigative Bureau/Narcotics Intelligence Unit
Dade County Intelligence Unit
Duval Area Telemarketing Task Force
EPA Environmental Crimes Task Force
Federal Computer Investigators Commission
FINCREST
Florida Association of Computer Crimes Investigators
Florida Association of Property Crimes Detectives
Florida Consumer Protection Intelligence Unit
Florida Intelligence Unit
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Regional Intelligence Units
Florida Sex Crimes Investigators Association
Gulf Coast Intelligence Unit
"Gypsy" Intelligence Unit
Hardee County Intelligence Unit
HIDTA Intel-Link
Hillsborough State Attorney Telemarketing Task Force
Hillsborough Street Gang Intelligence Unit
International Association of Chiefs of Police High Technology Crime Workgroup
International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts
International Association of Special Investigative Units/West Central
Florida Chapter
International Cargo Theft Task Force
Lake County Intelligence Unit
Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (Middle District)
Law Enforcement Effort against Child Harm Task Force (LEECH)
Law Enforcement Electronic Technical Assistance Council (LEETAC)
Leon TRIAD
Marion County Intelligence Unit
Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando
Metropolitan Organized Crime Intelligence Unit in Dade County
Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community
Multi-Agency Gangs Task Force (MAGTF) in Dade County
Multi-Agency Health Insurance Fraud Task Force
Multi-Agency Pharmaceutical Crimes Group
Monroe County Law Enforcement Group
Narcotics Task Force - Seventh Circuit
National Association of Attorneys General Internet Crime Task Force
National Association of Attorneys General Pyramid Scheme Workgroup
National Association of Attorneys General, Subcommittee on "INTERNET Kiddie Porn"
National Association of BUNCO Investigators
National Association of Police Chiefs, Regional Organized Crime Workgroup
National Center for Forensic Science, Digital Evidence Planning Committee
National Cyber-Crime Training Partnership, State and Local Planning Committee, Management Committee, Network Investigation Planning Committee
National Focus Group on Domestic Terrorism
National Insurance Crime Bureau
National Viatical Fraud Task Force
National White Collar Crime Center
North Florida Fraud & Forgery Task Force
North Florida InfraGard Chapter
North Florida Investigative Support Center
Northeast Florida Criminal Intelligence Unit
Northeast Florida Investigative Support Center
Northeast Florida Police Executives
Operation "Thunder Road" Task Force
Orange County Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Task Force
Orlando Economic Crime Unit
Osceola County Investigative Bureau
Palm Beach County Economic Crime Unit
Palm Beach County Gangs Task Force
Regional Interagency Fraud Task Force (Jacksonville)
Regional Telemarketing Fraud Task Force (Jacksonville)
Regional Violent Crime Task Forces
Russian-Eurasian Intelligence Group
Seminole County Intelligence Group
STOP Telemarketing Fraud
Society of Certified Criminal Analysts
Southeastern Environmental Enforcement Network, comprised of ten States
South Broward HIDTA
South Florida IMPACT
South Florida Investigative Support Center
South Florida Robbery Task Force
Southwest Florida Environmental Work-Group
Southwest Florida Crime Prevention Association
State Archeological Site Destruction Task Force
Statewide Terrorist Intelligence Network Group
Suncoast Analysts
Tampa Bay Area Intelligence Unit
Tampa Bay Area Street Gang Intelligence Unit
Third Circuit Law Enforcement Group
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Stamp Fraud Task Force
U.S. Department of Justice Alien Smuggling Task Force
U.S. Department of Justice Staged Accident Task Force
U.S. Department of Justice 24/7 Computer Crimes Task Force
Violent Crime Council
West Central Florida Environmental Crimes Task Force

3. In 2000, the Office conducted its eighth annual satisfaction survey of referring law enforcement agencies. With a 59% response rate, the Office received above-average ratings in every category evaluated, with 96% indicating intent to refer future investigations.

4. The Office has also received a total of five Resolutions issued by the Florida Cabinet in the past two years for its work on insurance fraud and fraud against the government, and three Davis Productivity Awards for its work on telemarketing fraud, Medicaid fraud, and this year, sales tax fraud.

5. In FY 1999-2000, 11 prosecutors were cross-designated to work cooperatively with State Attorneys, the Attorney General, and the Department of Insurance in complex, multi-circuit cases.

6. Law Enforcement Training
Assistant Statewide Prosecutors and Financial Analysts provided legal training to law enforcement officers throughout the State in the following 44 specialized areas:
Advice of Counsel Defenses
Auto Theft Rings
Cable Theft
Charging Decisions
Computer Crimes
Computer Evidence Recovery
Construction Fraud
Contraband Forfeiture
Courtroom Testimony and Demeanor for Law Enforcement Agents
Courtroom Testimony and Demeanor for Financial Analysts
Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses
Deposition Procedures
DUI Trial Advocacy
Elder Abuse and Neglect
Electronic Surveillance
Environmental Crime
Extradition (National and International)
Financial Investigation, Practical Skills
Financial Records Examination
Fourth Amendment - Media "ride alongs"
Government Contract Fraud
Health Care Fraud Investigation
Identity Theft
Informant Handling
Information Technology - Security Awareness
Insurance Fraud Prosecution
Investigative Planning
Jurisdiction and Operations of the Office of Statewide Prosecution
Medicaid Fraud
Organized Crime
Parallel Proceedings
Patient Brokering
Prosecution of "Con" Artists
Prosecution of Transient Crime Groups
Prosecution of Street Gangs
Racketeering Law
Search and Seizure
Search and Seizure of Electronic Evidence
Securities Fraud
Sentencing Guidelines (Punishment Code)
Statewide Grand Jury, Law and Procedure
Telemarketing Fraud
Title Loan Prosecutions
White Collar Crime

7. Copies of the Office training video, brochure, and PowerPoint presentations are available upon request.

8. The Office co-sponsored two seminars with the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, both on computer crimes, and co-sponsored a Financial Records Examination and Analysis course with the National White Collar Crime Center.

9. One Assistant Statewide Prosecutor received a distinguished service award from the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

10. Two Assistant Statewide Prosecutors and two Financial Analysts served as volunteer instructors for the National White Collar Crime Center, and one prosecutor has lectured for the National District Attorneys Association.

III. CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

A. Legislative Proposals
In 2000, the Office continued its work in crime prevention and deterrence by working on legislative proposals to accomplish these goals. These efforts included review of draft legislation, testimony at committee meetings, and proposals for new laws. This year, the Legislature adopted several new laws with input from the Office: viatical fraud prevention, money laundering control, and drug trafficking revisions.

B. Boards, Committees and Associations
1. Violent Crime Council: The Statewide Prosecutor continued to serve as the Attorney General's representative on the Violent Crime Council established by the Legislature in 1993. See Section 943.031, Florida Statutes. The Council was created to: advise the Department of Law Enforcement on the creation of Regional Violent Crime Investigation Coordinating Teams; develop criteria for the disbursement of funds from the Violent Crime Investigative Emergency Account; review and approve all disbursements of said funds; advise the Department on the development of the statewide Violent Crime Information System; consult with Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to establish standards for officer training in investigating and preventing violent crime; and report to the Legislature annually regarding its activities. A copy of the report is available upon request.

2. Governor's Privacy and Technology Task Force: The Statewide Prosecutor served on the Governor's Privacy and Technology Task Force, and three prosecutors participated or attended the public hearings, offering testimony on identity theft and drafting suggested changes to the law to make this crime easier to detect and prosecute.

3. The Statewide Prosecutor served as the Attorney General's representative on the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Board, and two prosecutors attended Drug Summit 2000, and the Drug Estimating WorkGroup meetings.

4. The Office worked with the staff of the Legislature's Illicit Money Laundering Task Force.

5. The Office worked with the staff of the Legislature's Internet Safety Task Force.

6. In FY 1999-2000, an employee of the Office was a leader, member, or was active within, the following criminal justice associations:
Big Bend Law Enforcement Association
Central Florida Criminal Justice Council
Central Florida Intelligence Unit
Certified Fraud Examiners' Association
Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency
Florida Gang Investigators Association
Florida Intelligence Unit
Florida Narcotics Officers Association
Florida Network of Victim/Witness Services Association
Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Florida Sheriffs Association
League of Environmental Enforcement and Prosecution
National Association of Bunco Investigators
National Association of Computer Crimes Investigators
National Black Prosecuting Attorneys Association
National District Attorneys Association
National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association
National White Collar Crime Center
State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association
Suncoast Analysts Association

C. Professional Development
1. In FY 1999-2000, Assistant Statewide Prosecutors were distinguished as experts in:
Cable Theft
Computer Crimes
Construction Fraud
Elder Abuse and Neglect
Environmental Investigations and Prosecutions
Environmental Self-Audit Legislation
Grand Jury Law and Procedure
Health Care Fraud
Home-Invasion Robbery Prosecutions
Identity Theft
Insurance Fraud
International and National Extradition
Money Laundering
Mortgage Fraud
Narcotics Prosecutions
Organized Crime
RICO
Telemarketing Fraud
The Prosecution of Gangs, "Travelers", and Con Artists
Trial Skills

These attorneys have lectured at state, federal, and international conferences; have published articles in legal periodicals; and have been interviewed on local and national television programs.

2. The following achievements should be noted:

-6 attorneys are Board Certified in criminal law

-12 attorneys are rated "AV" or "BV" by Martindale-Hubbell

-2 attorneys are Criminal Justice Executive Institute/Senior Leadership graduates

-7 attorneys are Criminal Justice Executive Institute/Chief Executive Seminar graduates

-2 attorneys teach law school night classes

-5 members volunteer as faculty for the National White Collar Crime Center

-1 financial specialist obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration and became a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

-several attorneys have published in Bar journals, and other legal and law enforcement related publications

-the attorneys are admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida, as well as the state courts of Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New York

-many Assistant Statewide Prosecutors are members of the American Bar Association American Inns of Court, and National Bar Association, and are active in local Bar Associations, serving as committee chairs and on grievance committees

-One attorney is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Black Prosecuting Attorneys Association

-5 prosecutors serve on Florida Bar Committees

-1 prosecutor serves on the FPAA education committee

-1 prosecutor taught trial skills at the University of Florida Prosecutor/Public Defender Workshop

-6 members of the Office are certified to operate the FCIC/NCIC computerized criminal history database and the Court Ordered Payment System of the Department of Corrections

3. The staff received 14,163 hours of continuing education in the following areas:
Advanced Evidence
Advanced Trial Skills
Advice of Counsel Defense
Appellate Practice
Bankruptcy Law
Charging Decisions
Communication Skills and Legal Research
Computer Crimes
Computer Skills
Consumer Protection
Credit Card Fraud
Death Penalty Law
Drug Identification
Economic Crime
Electronic Surveillance
Environmental Law
Ethics
Extradition
FCIC/NCIC operations
Financial Investigation
Forensic Evidence
Future Planning
Gang Investigation
Health Care Fraud
Home Improvement Fraud
Homicide Prosecution
Identity Theft
Insurance Fraud
Internet Fraud
Interview techniques (elderly victims/witnesses)
Jury Selection
Leadership in Law Enforcement
Legal Research
Legislative Procedure
Lemon Law
Media Relations
Modern Policing
Money Laundering
Narcotics - Demand Reduction
Nursing Home Neglect
Post-Conviction Relief
Power-Point Presentations for the Courtroom
Pre-trial Advocacy
Preventing Crime in the Black Community
Professionalism
Prosecutorial Misconduct
Public Access to Legal Proceedings and Records
Real Property Fraud
Security of Electronic Commerce
Search and Seizure Issues
Sentencing Guidelines (Punishment Code)
Strategic Planning
Telemarketing Fraud
Terrorism Investigation
Training the Trainers
Trial Techniques
Victims' Rights
White Collar Crime

4. The Office participated in a Minority Job Fair held at Stetson University College of Law.

5. The members of the Office volunteer their time for community projects, criminal justice oriented civic work, and pro bono legal assistance in the following activities:
Christian Legal Society
DARE Program
Florida American Legion Boys State Mock Trial Workshop
Florida State University College of Law; legal writing class and Mock
Trial team
Florida Law Related Education Association; Statewide High School
Mock Trial competition
Ft. Lauderdale High School Pre-Law Magnate Program
Great American Teach-In (Tampa Bay Area)
Guardian Ad Litem Programs
Habitat for Humanity
High School Student Mentor Programs
Hillsborough County Bar Association - Lawyers for Literacy
Homeless Advocacy Projects
Law Week Activities
Legal Aid Foundation
Mediation
Meals on Wheels
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Seminole County Bar Association Citizens' Dispute Settlement
"Take Stock in Children" Program (Miami-Dade)
Tampa Bay Area Legal Services
Tampa "Crossroads"
Teen Court/Peer Court
Volunteer instructors for "Career Day" at several local schools
Volusia County Teen Court Advisor
Women in Distress/ Broward County
YMCA

IV. ADMINISTRATION

A. Staffing
In FY 1999-2000, the Office of Statewide Prosecution operated 7 Bureaus:
North Florida Bureau -- Tallahassee
Northeast Florida Bureau -- Jacksonville
Central Florida Bureau -- Orlando
South Florida Bureau -- Ft. Lauderdale
Southwest Florida Bureau -- Ft. Myers
West Florida Bureau -- Tampa
Miami-Dade Bureau -- Miami

At the end of FY 1999-2000, the Office was staffed with 67 employees:

1     Statewide Prosecutor
6     Chief Assistants
1     General Counsel
2     Special Counsels
28   Assistant Statewide Prosecutors
5     Financial Analysts
1     Executive Assistant
1     Administrative Assistant
12   Executive Secretaries
1     OPS Administrative Assistant
1     Paralegal
1     OPS Secretaries
3     OPS Receptionists
3     OPS Clerks
1     OPS Financial Specialist

B. Budget
The total general revenue appropriation to fund the Office for FY 1999-2000 was $4.3 million. This appropriation covers salaries, rent, utilities, furniture, library materials, computers, expert witness fees, court reporter bills, and travel expenses. The Office receives no funding from any county government.

The Office also receives an appropriation from the State Courts in the amount of $158,000 to fund the investigations, operations, and case-related work of the Statewide Grand Jury. The statutory grand jury fees and travel reimbursements are made from this fund. This amount has not been increased since 1991.

In FY 1999-2000, the prosecutors and financial analysts worked a combined annual overtime total of 4,187.25 hours. As Select Exempt employees, the attorneys and analysts are not compensated for this extra work. At an average hourly rate of $ 24.50 per hour plus 28% for benefits, this amounts to an added value of $155,863 to the taxpayers.

The Office continued to require traveling employees to rent subcompact cars rather than the State contract authorized compact cars. This cost reduction effort resulted in a savings of over $7,000 during FY 1999-2000.

C. Program Evaluation
1. In 1993, the Auditor General found that the Office was "meeting its legislative mandate in all essential aspects of its performance": investigation, prosecution, cooperation with law enforcement agencies, and development of performance measures. See Report No. 12070.

2. In 2000, OPPAGA reported that the Office of Statewide Prosecution "maintains a high conviction rate and is highly regarded by law enforcement agencies." Report No. 99-53.

3. In 2000, the OAG Inspector General reported that "the existing management control system [for validity and reliability of reported measures] exceeds average and assures data integrity." Data Validation Review Memo. A recommendation to conduct a random sampling of case files was adopted and completed by the end of 2000 by a staff financial analyst who reported finding that "substantial supporting documentation exists for the reporting elements examined." Final Audit Report Memo dated 12/13/2000.

4. In 2000, FDLE audited the use of the FCIC/NCIC system and found that the Office "is operating in compliance with FCIC/NCIC rules, regulations, and user agreements." (FCIC/NCIC Audit 9899-202).

5. In 1999-2000, the Office conducted its eighth annual satisfaction survey of referring law enforcement agencies. With a 59% response rate, the Office received above-average ratings in every category evaluated, with 96% indicating intent to refer future investigations.

6. The Office continued to use its post-case review system to analyze the performance of the police/prosecutor teams.

7. The Office has received two Davis Productivity Awards for efficiency in government.

8. In 2000, the Office began mailing surveys to victims at the close of each criminal case. To date, 93 surveys have been returned. The Office has received above average marks in the categories of rights' notification, attention to the case, professionalism, results achieved, and effectiveness.

D. Electronic Communication and Data Processing
All personnel are using PC-based computer technology for electronic mail, data processing, legal research, and document production, as created and maintained by the Office of the Attorney General. The Office posts its public documents of general interest on the Internet at:

In mid-2000, the Office added a victim notification system to its website, which allows victims and witnesses access to information about victims' rights, the next court proceeding in any filed case, and a password protected performance survey. The results of the survey will be reported in the next Agency Performance Report.

E. Planning
Pursuant to Chapter 186, Florida Statutes, the Office submitted its Long Range Program Plan for 2001-2006, which includes agency mission, goals, performance measures, objectives, outcomes, trends and conditions, and performance projections.

The goals and objectives are:
(1) Coordinate effectively with multi-jurisdictional enforcement efforts, by
a. committing resources to pro-active, problem solving investigative strategies
b. actively participating in multi-agency task forces
c. maintaining substantial caseload of complex investigations
d. providing training to law enforcement in relevant areas
e. analyzing crime prevention/deterrence possibilities
f. receiving positive evaluations from law enforcement surveys

(2) Effectively prosecute multi-circuit crime, by
a. committing resources to recruiting, retaining, and training professional prosecution/support teams
b. maintaining substantial caseload of complex prosecutions
c. seeking maximum disruption of criminal activity
d. seeking effective case results
e. providing effective services to victims

The strategies to achieve these objectives were developed internally with input from all members of the Office. Copies of the Report are available upon request.

V. CONCLUSION

The Office just completed its fourteenth year of operation. Over the years, the Office has had a significant impact on major criminal organizations operating throughout the State. It has maintained strong working relations with law enforcement, been active in the development of criminal justice policy, and achieved the objectives set forth in its Long Range Program Plan.