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Jacksonville City Council agrees to delay resolution on civil citations at request of State Attorney Angela Corey

Posted: April 8, 2014 - 7:44pm  |  Updated: April 8, 2014 - 9:43pm

The City Council is delaying a resolution calling for an increase in ticket-style citations for minor juvenile crimes at State Attorney Angela Corey’s request until she can address the council in two weeks.

Council members were planning to approve the Jacksonville resolution at Tuesday’s meeting, but by a 9-8 vote agreed to delay it after Councilman Robin Lumb said Corey had contacted him saying she wanted to speak before the vote. He said Corey had “legitimate concerns” about the resolution.

The issue will now be taken up at the April 21 meeting with Corey expected to be in attendance.

Councilman John Crescimbeni said he saw no reason to delay a resolution that didn’t have the force of law. He also expressed irritation that Corey was asking for a delay but didn’t show up Tuesday or last week when multiple council committees reviewed the resolution. All supported it unanimously.

Councilman Stephen Joost said it was “professional courtesy” to give Corey a chance to speak, and no harm was done by delaying the resolution.

“I support this resolution,” Joost said. “But I’d at least like to hear what Ms. Corey has to say.”

The resolution says that in Duval County last year, citations were given to 31 percent of juvenile defendants who were eligible for them under state law. The resolution also points out 19 other counties with higher percentages of citations.

Related: Angela Corey's office threatens Jacksonville-area juveniles with adult charges, Matt Shirk and private attorneys say

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, 26 percent of eligible youth in the 4th Judicial Circuit were served with civil citations from March 2013 to February. The circuit is made up of Duval, Nassau and Clay counties. Statewide, 34 percent of eligible youth were served with civil citations during the same time period. In Miami-Dade County, 86 percent of eligible youth received civil citations.

Citations are viewed by many people as a way to address criminal issues involving youths and spare them a criminal record while saving money by not incarcerating them. All council members who spoke Tuesday said they wanted to increase the number of citations.

Corey has said she supports civil citations but is against using them in violent cases such as battery.

Corey did not sign a 2012 memorandum of understanding for the civil citation program. That agreement was signed by Sheriff John Rutherford, Chief Judge Donald Moran, Teen Court Program Director Lawrence Hills, Public Defender Matt Shirk and other officials.

Shirk, who has been pushing the council to approve this resolution, said he hoped Corey would address her opposition to signing a memorandum of understanding when she speaks to the council.

A newly drawn-up memorandum of understanding on the use of civil citations doesn’t call for them to be used in batteries. And batteries were specifically removed from the memorandum in the hopes that Corey would support it, Shirk said.

But the state attorney hasn’t signed it, and Shirk said he doesn’t know why.

In a letter to some City Council members, Corey said her office sometimes diverts juvenile cases without a civil citation. She also said the memorandum of understanding doesn’t include Neptune Beach police, Duval County School Board police and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Corey said her office is now drafting its own memorandum of understanding, which would be distributed to all pertinent parties within the next 30 days. That was March 28, so her proposal should be out by April 28.

 

Larry Hannan: (904) 359-4470

Comments (10)

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Libertariandude
3523
Points
Libertariandude 04/10/14 - 10:56 pm
0
0
Premium Member

I would agree to civil

I would agree to civil citations under the following conditions.....

The crime was not a violent act in nature.
The defendant gives up the names of others that participated in the crime.
The victim is made whole with items returned immediately.
The defendant is not caught lying to investigative body.
The defendant has no prior convictions

Lie Detector
2945
Points
Lie Detector 04/09/14 - 06:58 pm
0
0

I wouldn't vote for

I wouldn't vote for Crescimbeni if he was running unapposed for a council of one. He is nothing more than a career politician who speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He tells half truths and twists things to fit his agenda. He can't leave the council soon enough.

ThomasFL
14083
Points
ThomasFL 04/09/14 - 12:22 pm
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0

councilman John Crescimbeni

councilman John Crescimbeni has also my support and vote.

lilrio
5133
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lilrio 04/09/14 - 08:04 am
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0
Premium Member

Councilman John Crescimbeni

Councilman John Crescimbeni has my support and vote also.

the_yes_man
2214
Points
the_yes_man 04/09/14 - 07:58 am
0
0
Premium Member

Who cares what resolutions

Who cares what resolutions the city council comes up with? They have no say in the court system.

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