Florida Senate - 2020 SB 262 By Senator Bracy 11-00092-20 2020262__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Statewide Council on 3 Prosecutorial Misconduct; creating s. 16.71, F.S.; 4 defining terms; creating the Statewide Council on 5 Prosecutorial Misconduct within the Department of 6 Legal Affairs; stating the purpose of the council; 7 providing for membership, organization, support, and 8 duties; requiring the council to submit an annual 9 report to the Governor, Legislature, and Chief Justice 10 of the Supreme Court; providing an effective date. 11 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 13 14 Section 1. Section 16.71, Florida Statutes, is created to 15 read: 16 16.71 Statewide Council on Prosecutorial Misconduct.— 17 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 18 (a) “Prosecutor” means any state attorney or his or her 19 designee or any assistant state attorney or special assistant 20 state attorney. 21 (b) “Prosecutorial misconduct” means a violation of 22 applicable statutes or rules relating to the conduct of a 23 prosecutor during the performance of the prosecutor’s official 24 duties. 25 (2) CREATION.—There is created the Statewide Council on 26 Prosecutorial Misconduct, a council as defined in s. 20.03, 27 within the Department of Legal Affairs. The council is created 28 for the purpose of providing recommendations and findings 29 relating to prosecutorial misconduct to the Department of Lawyer 30 Regulation within The Florida Bar and to the Chief Justice of 31 the Supreme Court. Except as otherwise provided in this section, 32 the council shall operate in a manner consistent with s. 20.052. 33 (3) MEMBERSHIP.— 34 (a) The council shall consist of: 35 1. Four prosecutors, of which: 36 a. One is appointed by the Governor; 37 b. Two are appointed by the President of the Senate; and 38 c. One is appointed by the Speaker of the House of 39 Representatives; 40 2. Four public defenders or assistant public defenders, of 41 which: 42 a. One is appointed by the Governor; 43 b. Two are appointed by the Speaker of the House of 44 Representatives; and 45 c. One is appointed by the President of the Senate; 46 3. A district court of appeal judge appointed by the 47 Governor; and 48 4. Two county or circuit court judges appointed by the 49 Governor. 50 (b) Each member shall be appointed to a 4-year term. 51 However, for the purpose of achieving staggered terms, the terms 52 of the initial members appointed to the council are: 53 1. 4 years for members appointed by the Governor; 54 2. 3 years for members appointed by the President of the 55 Senate; and 56 3. 2 years for members appointed by the Speaker of the 57 House of Representatives. 58 (c) Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the 59 original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. 60 (d) The members of the council shall elect a chair every 2 61 years, to serve for a 2-year term. As deemed appropriate, other 62 officers may be elected by the members. 63 (e) If a council member is the subject of a complaint or 64 investigation, he or she is disqualified from participating in 65 any proceedings with respect to such complaint or investigation. 66 (4) ORGANIZATION AND SUPPORT.— 67 (a) The council must meet at least quarterly. Additional 68 meetings may be held when determined by the chair. Council 69 meetings may be conducted by conference call, teleconferencing, 70 or similar technology. 71 (b) Eight members constitute a quorum. 72 (c) The Department of Legal Affairs shall provide the 73 council with the staff necessary to assist the council in the 74 performance of its duties. 75 (5) DUTIES.—The council shall: 76 (a) Review complaints submitted to the Department of Legal 77 Affairs which allege that a prosecutor has engaged in 78 prosecutorial misconduct. The department shall develop a form 79 for such complaints. Any person may submit such complaint to the 80 Department of Legal Affairs. 81 (b) Investigate any credible reports of prosecutorial 82 misconduct. 83 (c) At the completion of each investigation, create a 84 written report of the council’s findings and recommendations and 85 submit the report to the Department of Lawyer Regulation within 86 The Florida Bar and to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 87 (6) REPORT.—By January 14 of each year, the council shall 88 submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, 89 the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief 90 Justice of the Supreme Court summarizing the council’s 91 recommendations and findings during the previous calendar year. 92 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.