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Politics

State Capital Briefs

September 30, 2012 - 6:00pm

FDLE ARRESTS FORMER CAMPBELL AIDE:

A former secretary for Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, has been arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for defrauding some of the lawmaker's constituents. Janice Shackelford, 49, was charged with one count of organized fraud, five counts of unlawful compensation and three counts of official misconduct, according to FDLE. The agency says Shackelford would charge constituents up to $1,110 to help them with legal issues, setting up fake court dates for them. At least 10 people lost about $5,400, FLDE said.

VOTER REGISTRATION GATHERING CASE GOES TO FDLE:

State election officials on Friday called in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate allegations that a Virginia-based voter registration gathering firm hired by the Republican Party of Florida may have faked or destroyed voter registration applications. Chris Cate, spokesman for the Florida Department of State, said the agency has turned over a complaint filed by the RPOF against Strategic Allied Consultants, which had been gathering applications from would-be voters under a $1.3 million contract. The state party cut ties to the company earlier this week when the allegations were exposed, according to RPOF's Executive Director Mark Grissom. On Thursday, the Republican National Committee followed suit, cancelling contracts with the company that was doing work for the RNC in at least four more states. The complaint was not released Friday and an agency spokesman said it was being reviewed to determine what portions could be released to comply with Florida public records law. "Some documents regarding this matter are exempt from public records disclosure at this time," Cate said. "The department will review any responsive records within its possession and provide any non-exempt documents."

SCHOOL DISTRICTS GET FED CASH TO HIGHER PAY:

Six Florida school districts will share more than $66 million in grant money from Washington to give bonuses and extra training to particularly effective teachers and principals, the U.S. and state education agencies announced Friday. The money will go to teachers and administrators who work in high-poverty schools. Broward County got the biggest grant at just over $18,000. Other large grants were around $17,000 for Lee and Hillsborough counties. Smaller grants went to Orange County, Gilchrist County and Miami-Dade.

BAR ADMISSION FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT IN COURT NEXT WEEK:

The Florida Supreme Court this week will hear oral arguments in the case of Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant seeking admission to the Bar. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is asking the Supreme Court whether undocumented immigrants are eligible to practice law. Godinez-Samperio was brought to the United States at age 9 by his parents, graduated from law school, and passed the Bar exam. The case has been closely watched by immigrant advocates nationwide. Arguments in the case are scheduled for Tuesday.

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