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Office In Shambles: Statistics Show Jeff Ashton’s Office Is Worst In Florida

jeff ashton, linda drane burdick, east orlando post, east orlando news, news east orlando, orlando news, news orlando, central florida news, news central florida, osceola county, osceola county news, news osceola county, jacob engels,

Important and publicly available conviction and attrition statistics paint a very concerning picture.

 

By Jacob Engels

 

Important and publicly available conviction and attrition statistics paint a very concerning picture.

 

With early voting underway, the East Orlando Post has reviewed the most recently available conviction, attrition, and other records under the regime of Orange/Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton.

 

Since information on this most recent year has not been made available, much to the chagrin of news outlets and community activists, we had to review the period of July 1st, 2014 to July 1, 2015, the most recent year records were made open to the public.

 

And man oh man, the numbers don't look good.

 

After rolling out his new "system" shortly after being elected, Ashton allegedly berated staff members and prosecutors for the high amount of acquittals, among other things: even calling them morons.

 

The following year statistics, showed no improvement and called into question Ashton's management style and abilities to appoint competent prosecutors. One of his first actions was to eliminate the Homicide and Sex Crimes Divisions and then he merged domestic violence into sex crimes.

 

Many Ashton allies were promoted without reason, and a source familiar with his management style told us that State Attorney's favoritism is costing conviction rates.

 

"Mr. Ashton has made this office about him and his personal friendships more than once, and sadly that has effected the work the office conducts on behalf of Orange and Osceola County."

 

Ashton's number two, Linda Drane Burdick also set up a system of management that counted and required no basic training guidelines, meaning that previous support systems for younger attorneys were simply not provided.

 

Out of 291 trials that went to trial from July 2014 to July 2015, the office had almost as many acquittals as they did convictions.

 

Easily view-able in the document below, the State Attorney's office earned 166 convictions and 125 acquittals, which Statewide puts us in a race for dead last.

 

Circuit Criminal Overview by Jacob Engels on Scribd

 

View the documents here, in particular sections 3-21 to see the sagging stats.

 

Even more interesting, the dispositions for Ashton and his office during this time period. That information can be seen on page 3-22. Orange/Osceola is a full ten percentage points below the next lowest circuit court in total favorable dispositions.

 

Total dispositions mean the end result of the filed felony counts. Our Orange and Osceola State Attorney's office has a guilty by plea or trial sits at 73.1%. Again, this in comparison to other states attorney's offices makes us the worst in the state by a landslide

 

Not a single other judicial circuit of the 20 in the state of Florida had a conviction rate lower than 83%.

 

This is part one of any ongoing investigation by the East Orlando Post into Mr. Ashton's record as a prosecutor, his managerial style, and employee training and expectations.

 

A public records request for the employee handbook and training guidelines was requested by this publication several days ago.

 

However, at this time, after being told several times the information was on it's way, we have not received it .

 

 

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com

 

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