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As an elected officer, the Clerk has the authority and responsibility to aid and promote the judicial process, as well as provide useful information to Pinellas County citizens. In keeping with that responsibility your Clerk, Ken Burke, is dedicated to providing information that is both helpful and educational.

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In the News:
2016 Media Coverage of the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court

September 18, 2016
WFLA Channel 8: Operation Safe Surrender held Saturday in Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG - The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in partnership with the State Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, 6th Judicial Circuit Judges and the Clerk of the Courts hosted "Operation Safe Surrender" Saturday. It's a one-day opportunity for individuals with outstanding non-violent misdemeanor warrants to safely turn themselves in and have their warrants reviewed and potentially resolved instead of being arrested.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON WFLA.COM

September 14, 2016
St. Pete Patch: Operation Safe Surrender: Pinellas Residents Invited to Turn Themselves In

ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas County residents with outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants are being invited to turn themselves in during a one-day event meant to help them resolve their charges. While Operation Safe Surrender isn't an amnesty program, it does offer favorable considerations from the court, according to the sheriff's office. Operation Safe Surrender specifically targets people who have non-violent misdemeanor warrants out for their arrest.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON PATCH.COM

September 8, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Pinellas Clerk earns national achievement award

CLEARWATER - The National Association of Counties awarded Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Ken Burke the 2016 Achievement Award for the Same Day Juror Pay Mobile Workstations initiative in the category of Court Administration and Management.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

August 20, 2016
Tampa Bay Newswire: Pinellas Clerk Earns National Achievement Award for Juror Pay Initiative

CLEARWATER - The National Association of Counties (NACo) awarded Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Ken Burke, the 2016 Achievement Award for the "Same Day Juror Pay Mobile Workstations" initiative in the category of Court Administration and Management. Started in 1970, the annual Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative, effective county government programs that enhance resident services in 21 different categories.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TAMPABAYNEWSWIRE.COM

August 19, 2016
SPB SaintPetersBlog: Ken Burke receives national award for juror pay plan

CLEARWATER - Ken Burke, Pinellas County clerk of court, received the 2016 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACO) for his "same-day juror pay mobile workstations." The mobile pay stations were the first in the state to offer same-day juror pay in the jury room itself. "Receiving this award is truly an honor and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how well the program has improved the jury service experience," Burke said. "This initiative ultimately offers jurors one less worry when taking part in such a fundamental component of our justice system."
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SAINTPETERSBLOG.COM

August 15, 2016
Tampa Bay Times: Karleen De Blaker, longtime Pinellas County clerk of circuit court, dies at 85

CLEARWATER - When she decided to run for office, Karleen De Blaker recruited her kids. Mrs. De Blaker's daughter D'Anna Hohe, 57, still remembers stuffing envelopes and knocking on doors, asking people to vote her mom onto the Clearwater City Commission, where she would eventually become the first female commissioner. Mrs. De Blaker died Sunday of natural causes. She was 85.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TAMPABAY.COM

July 8, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Pinellas Clerk's financial transparency site receives award

PINELLAS - The Florida Government Finance Officers Association awarded Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Ken Burke, the 2016 Advanced Commitment to Excellence Award in the category of Innovative and Outstanding Work in Technology Utilizing Transparency. The award presented to Clerk Burke during the 2016 FGFOA Conference, commended the financial transparency site he created called "Spending in the Sunshine."
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

June 23, 2016
Tampa Bay Newswire: Pinellas Clerk Releases 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Popular Annual Financial Report

PINELLAS - The office of Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, released the Citizens' Guide to County Finances (Citizens' Guide), also known as the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015. The Citizens' Guide is an easy-to-read financial report designed to help Pinellas County citizens understand where County revenues come from and where the money is spent.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TAMPABAYNEWSWIRE.COM

April 2, 2016
Tampa Bay Times: Military veterans swamped with legal woes find big relief

PINELLAS - It's no secret that some veterans struggle with a range of issues after serving their nation. Their paths can lead to drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and problems with the law, even landing some in jail. But on Saturday dozens of men and women who served the nation in both combat and peacetime roles through the decades got a chance to instantly wash away significant unpaid legal fines that had resulted in driver's license suspensions and shaky employment histories.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TAMPABAY.COM

March 21, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Pinellas County Clerk sheds light on Sunshine Week

PINELLAS - In recognition of National Sunshine Week, which ended March 19, Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller reminded citizens of the importance of being actively involved in one's government. In a media release, Burke said he is fully committed to honoring the right of unimpeded public access and encourages everyone to exercise their rights.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

February 14, 2016
Fox 13 News: 60 couples tie the knot for annual Valentine's Day wedding

LARGO - More than 60 couples tied the knot at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo on Valentine's Day. It's the Pinellas Clerk of Courts 10th annual Valentine's Day group wedding. The clerk waived the usual $30 ceremony fee and all at once, the couples said "I do." One couple says they got married at last year's event in the first year same-sex couples could participate.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON FOX13NEWS.COM

January 28, 2016
Tampa Bay Times: St. Pete inches forward on marijuana civil citation

CLEARWATER - A St. Petersburg City Council committee voted unanimously Thursday to have city attorneys draft an ordinance for the city to start a civil citation program for marijuana. So far, Pinellas County hasn't taken any action on such a program, which would allow police to give someone possessing 20 grams or less of weed -- about 3/4 of an ounce -- a ticket instead of arresting them. Officials in St. Pete's police department have voiced concerns about the mechanisms for collecting fines and being tasked with an unfunded mandate.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TAMPABAY.COM

January 25, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Last call coming to participate in Valentine's Day group wedding

LARGO - Time will soon run out for couples to sign up for the Clerk of the Court's 10th annual Valentine's Day Group Wedding. The deadline to register to participate is Jan. 29. Up to 50 couples are expected to be joined together for one group wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, in the Wedding Garden of the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

January 19, 2016
Suncoast News: Deadline for Pinellas Valentine's Day wedding event nearing

PINELLAS COUNTY - That special time of year for loving couples is fast approaching. Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and the chance to make the holiday even more momentous will pass even sooner. Couples wishing to tie the knot during the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court's 2016 Valentine's Day Group Wedding have until Jan. 29 to register. Officials anticipate up to 50 couples will be joined at this year's event and nearly 20 have already reserved their place as of last week.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SUNCOASTNEWS.COM

January 18, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Civil citation task force meeting deemed 'premature'

CLEARWATER - A task force meeting scheduled by the Clerk of the Court to discuss issuing civil citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana made for a rocky start to the New Year for Pinellas County Commission Chair Charlie Justice. Justice sent a letter to Ken Burke Jan. 7 expressing his concerns with Burke's meeting. He explained that the County Commission would be responsible for any policy changes and he had yet had time to schedule a work session on the matter.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

January 11, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Registration open for Clerk's Valentine's Day Group Wedding

PINELLAS - Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, has announced that registration is now open for the Clerk's 10th annual Valentine's Day Group Wedding. Up to 50 couples are expected to be joined together for one group wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 in the romantic and picturesque Wedding Garden of the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

January 11, 2016
SPB SaintPetersBlog: Pinellas Commission will see 2016 Legislative Session through before discussing marijuana civil citations

PINELLAS COUNTY - Pinellas County Commission's work session on civil citations for marijuana possession is expected to take place sometime after the 2016 Legislative Session. That's according to a letter from Commission Chair Charlie Justice to Pinellas' Clerk of the Circuit Court, Ken Burke. "The ultimate policy decision will be made by the County Commission after evaluating any statutory changes made by the Florida Legislature during their early Session," wrote Justice.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SAINTPETERSBLOG.COM

January 11, 2016
Tampa Bay Newspapers-Beacon, Leader, Bee: Pinellas commissioners agree to talk about marijuana ordinance

PINELLAS - The city of St. Petersburg would like Pinellas County to consider changing how people arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana are punished for breaking the law. County Commissioner Ken Welch introduced the subject Dec. 15 during the final commission meeting of 2015.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON TBNWEEKLY.COM

January 8, 2016
SPB SaintPetersBlog: Pinellas task force wants pre-arrest diversion program for minor marijuana possession, not civil citation ordinance

PINELLAS COUNTY - Pinellas might not be developing any civil citation programs for minor marijuana possession, but could instead lean towards a pre-arrest diversion program for the offense and others like it. A task force assembled by Clerk of the Court Ken Burke met January 7 to develop a rough outline for the program, which is being based, in part, on Pinellas County's juvenile diversion program, in which some minors are dealt with through peer review, sanctions, counseling and community service, while also being provided with an opportunity to have adjudication withheld or earn a complete dismissal of charges against them.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SAINTPETERSBLOG.COM

January 7, 2016
SPB SaintPetersBlog: Pinellas Charter Review Commission unanimously votes against including recall provisions

PINELLAS COUNTY - Proponents of recall provisions for elected officers in Pinellas County may have cause for both celebration and defeat. During Pinellas' January 6 charter review commission meeting, board members examined the topic, but unanimously voted against further pursuing it — and ultimately against adding it to the 2016 ballot — deciding that the measure is already enforced enough throughout the county.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SAINTPETERSBLOG.COM

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