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News Release

CLERK INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST OF FORMER EMPLOYEE

Suspect Accused of Improperly Dismissing Traffic Cases

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (November 8, 2010) –  An internal investigation by the Clerk & Comptroller’s office Public Integrity Unit led to the arrest today of a former employee from the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, working with the Clerk’s office, arrested Shvonne Butler, 27, and charged her with 23 counts of official misconduct. Butler is accused of using her position to clear pending driver’s license suspensions and dismiss traffic cases for her friends and family.

The Clerk’s office investigation was initiated on August 21, 2009, after a supervisor’s review of her work. The Clerk’s Public Integrity Unit began an immediate investigation which resulted in Butler’s termination on August 26, 2009.

The case was subsequently turned over to the FDLE for additional investigation. Any records that Butler altered were corrected, and there was no financial loss to the public.

“I hold myself and my employees to the highest standards of ethics and integrity,” said Clerk Sharon Bock. “I’m deeply disappointed with the actions of this former employee, but am pleased that it was swiftly detected by management and thoroughly reviewed by our Public Integrity Unit and turned over to law enforcement.”

The Public Integrity Unit is part of the Clerk’s Division of Inspector General, and conducts investigations of suspected fraud, waste, abuse or ethical misconduct submitted through the Clerk & Comptroller’s employee ethics hotline and other sources.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents.  In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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