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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Office of the Secretary
Office of the General Counsel

General Counsel Kenneth S. Steely
Kenneth S. Steely
General Counsel

(850) 717-3605
(850) 922-4355 (Fax)

General Counsel Jennifer Parker
Dorothy Burnsed
General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel provides legal advice and assistance to department heads and staff in all program areas, represents the department in judicial and administrative tribunals, provides training to staff, serves as the department representative in mediations and other alternative dispute resolution processes, and tracks all department related litigation. Additionally, the General Counsel or designee serves as the department’s Chief Ethics Officer, the public records/open government liaison between the department and the Office of Open Government under Executive Order 07-01, and provides legal support for the department’s HIPAA Privacy Officer established pursuant to section 164.530 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The functions of the Office of the General Counsel are carried out within its Contracts unit, Health Services/Public Records unit, Personnel/Institutions/Community Corrections unit, Risk Management/Litigation unit, and Sentence Structure unit. Legal advice and representation provided by the attorney staff under the direction of the General Counsel cover a broad range of matters including, but not limited to, personnel and employee disciplinary matters, rule promulgation, inmate and employee grievances, bids, contracts, sentence structure, early release, gain time, public records, land acquisition, subpoenas, garnishments, executions, HIPAA compliance, ethics, legislation, medical and mental health services, administrative law issues, re-entry services and programs, and correctional law issues regarding inmates and offenders.

In addition to providing legal advice and assistance to department heads and staff in their respective program areas and performing other legal related functions, the Office of the General Counsel processed, reviewed, appeared as counsel of record in judicial or administrative tribunals and/or otherwise handled the following number of matters listed below:

  • Public Records Requests
  • CMHI/Involuntary Medication Hearings
  • CMHI/Recommitment Hearings
  • HIPAA Grievances
  • Disciplinary Action Reviews
  • OIG Investigation Reviews
  • Arbitration Hearings
  • Public Employee Relations Commission Appeals
  • Sentencing Order Reviews/Duty to Uphold
  • Sentence Structure/Gain-time Cases
  • Capital Postconviction Public Records Requests
  • Contract Reviews
  • Notices of Intent to Protest under section 120.57(3), F.S.
  • Formal Protests under section 120.57(3), F.S.
  • Bid Protest Hearings
  • Contract issues/special projects
  • Petitions to Initiate Rulemaking
  • Department Procedure Reviews
  • Form Reviews
  • Technical Instruction Reviews
  • Ethics Issues
  • Administrative Rules
  • Agency Final Orders
  • Inmate Correspondence Reviews
  • Continuing Writ of Garnishment Actions
  • Subpoenas
  • Subrogation Claims
  • Lawsuits referred to the Office of the Attorney General
  • Lawsuits and Notices of Intent to Sue under Ch. 768 or 766, Florida Statutes, referred to Division of Risk Management, Department of Financial Services
General Counsel's Org Chart General Counsel Kenneth S. Steely Deputy General Counsel Dorothy M. Ridgway

For additional information, including projects and accomplishments:

Other resources:

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