Question: What is an Executive Assignment?
Answer: An Executive Assignment is when the Governor appoints a State Attorney
from a completely different Judicial Circuit jurisdiction to handle a
case being prosecuted in the 14th Judicial Circuit. The effect of such
is that it completely removes politics and any other potential conflict
of interest from a case, as a State Attorney from a completely different
part of Florida brings an independent set of eyes to review the evidence
and determine whether to prosecute a violation of Florida law.
Such is common when the Defendant is an employee of the State Attorney's
Office, a family member of an employee of the State Attorney's Office,
a member of the law enforcement community whose cases are prosecuted by
the State Attorney's Office, or even a former employee of the State
Attorney's Office. Any one of these circumstances, as well as other
certain circumstances, will result in the Governor appointing a different
State Attorney jurisdiction to prosecute the matter via the Executive
Assignment. It is actually a fairly common occurrence, as our own 14th
Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office regularly is assigned to
handle matters outside of the 14th Judicial Circuit, most commonly in
adjacent jurisdictions which are the 1st Judicial Circuit (West of here,
based in Pensacola) and 2nd Judicial Circuit (East of here, based in Tallahassee).
Executive Assignments occur in both Misdemeanor and Felony offenses, as
the principle of having an independent State Attorney prosecuting matters
is fundamental to our Justice system. Once a different State Attorney
takes over a case, the original jurisdiction State Attorney's Office
is completely out of the case, as the newly appointed independent State
Attorney uses his or her own staff, including investigators, paralegals,
secretaries, and even Assistant State Attorneys. There is a complete firewall
between the outside independent Executive Assignment appointed State Attorney's
Office and the local State Attorney's Office.
The bottom line is an Executive Assignment ensures our Judicial system
is completely free from politics, as well as any other potential conflict
of interest. An independent State Attorney applies an independent set
of eyes to the evidence, and determines whether to prosecute a violation
of Florida law.
We all must abide by our United States and Florida Constitutions, and respect
our most basic Constitutional principals of a fair and independent Judiciary.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, let us be thankful for our loved
ones and our own lives, but also for the opportunity to live in such a
great Nation, with our freedom of religion, speech, and our independent
Judiciary where we are all guaranteed a fair trial. Have a wonderful and