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Former Duval clerk Fuller repays office $47,000 spent fighting term-limit ruling

Posted: April 8, 2014 - 8:13pm

More than a year after leaving office, former Duval County Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller has repaid his old office $47,000 spent on a failed court fight over term limits.

“I just decided that it was time to move on with my life,” Fuller said Tuesday. “It’s not an easy thing to do. But you can incur another so-many thousands of dollars in legal fees [on appeal] and you say ‘Man, I should have paid this.’ ”

Fuller was criticized in 2012 for spending his office’s money on lawyers to argue whether he was eligible to run for a fourth term after a state Supreme Court ruling that limited clerks of court and other constitutional officers to two terms. The city general counsel said at the time that was an election issue Fuller should handle personally.

Fuller said he wrote a check about two weeks ago, an action that earned him credit from some past critics.

“Learning that the fees have been reimbursed … kind of restored some of my faith in Mr. Fuller,” said City Councilman John Crescimbeni, who earlier called Fuller’s actions an insult to taxpayers. “It took him a while to come around, but it was the right decision.”

Jacksonville voters a generation ago approved term limits for many officeholders, but courts exempted a series of constitutional officers. A state Supreme Court order in 2012 reopened the question, however, and Fuller said Tuesday he thought he was raising legitimate questions when he went to court.

“My intention was all along to protect the Clerk’s Office, not to protect Jim Fuller,” he said.

Fuller’s successor as clerk, Ronnie Fussell, said city lawyers had discussed suing to get Fuller to pay.

“We’re glad he paid it back,” Fussell said. “The taxpayers got their money back, now let’s just move on from here.”


Steve Patterson: (904) 359-4263

Comments (2)

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gatordowneast 04/09/14 - 08:00 am
Premium Member
So sick and tired of these so

So sick and tired of these so called "public servants" who need to be dragged kicking and screaming out of office. What happened to "citizen legislators" or private citizens who agree to serve for four years to 'give back' for their blessings?

Public Pensions...that's what. If someone wants to be on the public payroll so badly, we ought to ask ourselves why? Can they not compete in the public sector? Do they not want to compete in the public sector? And we should elect them to do what?

Mockingjay 04/08/14 - 09:02 pm
Premium Member
FYI- The task force looking

FYI- The task force looking over Consolidation is recommending changing ordinance using city council members to change term limits to three consecutive terms and NOT the two terms voters approved.

Be on your guard folks, some intend to take The Peoples power of the vote

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