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Florida Attorney General McCollum has worked part-time for the past two months, schedule shows

by Dara Kam | June 26th, 2009

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has carried a part-time workload for the past two months, according to his schedule posted on his Web site.

mccollum

McCollum, a Republican who announced his candidacy for governor on May 18, has worked an average of about 22 hours a week since May 1, the records show.

During the same period, McCollum has averaged nearly 17 hours a week of “personal time” during normal business hours.

He has worked 178 hours – including a nine-hour stint on June 17 in his official capacity as state attorney general at the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Convention – since May 1. He has logged 135 hours of “personal time” between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the same time period.

McCollum, who earns $131,605 a year, is on the job even when he’s not officially working, spokeswoman Sandi Copes wrote in an e-mail.

“Bill McCollum is engaged on a daily basis as Florida’s Attorney General; he talks to staff about litigation and operations every day, even when he’s off the clock. Thanks!” Copes wrote.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat who is McCollum’s chief rival for governor, has taken 68 hours of personal time – an average of eight hours a week – during the same period. She has logged 262 hours on official business over the past eight weeks, an average of about 33 hours per week.

Sink also earns an annual salary of $131,605.

“Alex Sink’s highest priority is always her work and service to the people of Florida as CFO,” spokeswoman Kyra Jennings wrote in an e-mail.

Both Cabinet members’ schedules include official time spent at social events such as receptions and dinners.
Official schedules can be deceiving, cautioned GOP political consultant Rick Wilson, who is not associated with McCollum’s campaign.

“When you’re a statewide office-holder, you’re basically on 24/7 regardless,” Wilson said. “Running for office and running as a statewide official is hard work. It’s not a shocker that it takes up an awful lot of time.”

McCollum’s schedule since May 1, when his staff began posting it online, is available at myfloridalegal.com. But if a resident wants to know what he was up to before that, it’ll cost a bundle.

Viewing McCollum’s complete schedule since he took office in January 2007 would cost $770, including a down payment of $500, McCollum’s staff initially said this week in response to a public records request for the schedule. The staff also said it would take at least a week to purge secret information before the file could be viewed.

The total includes the cost of copying 2,500 pages and redacting the records, which are unavailable electronically, McCollum’s staff said.

The following day, Copes said she would waive the deposit to expedite the request.

Meanwhile, Sink’s office e-mailed an electronic copy of her schedule starting from January 2007, when she took office, within an hour of a request. There was no charge.

In December, McCollum wrote a letter to sheriffs, school board members and other elected officials encouraging them to post their schedules electronically.

“With advances in technology, government in the sunshine can be as easy as uploading information to public Web sites,” read a release issued by his office.

Asked why the office that oversees the state’s Sunshine Laws imposes such a hefty fee for records that are in the public domain, spokeswoman Ryan Wiggins said: “For security reasons.”

“It’s transparent nonsense,” First Amendment attorney Florence Snyder said.

The information that needs to be blacked out includes the cellphone numbers of the state plane and pilot and various law enforcement officers who accompanied McCollum when he traveled, Wiggins said.

That’s ridiculous, Snyder said, because those numbers could be programmed into McCollum’s own cellphone or written on a piece of paper instead of being included on his official public schedule.

“This is the officer in charge of enforcing Florida’s open government laws,” Snyder said. “That sort of speaks to itself to the seriousness in which Gen. McCollum’s staff takes transparency.”

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12 Responses to “Florida Attorney General McCollum has worked part-time for the past two months, schedule shows”

  1. nativewooder Says:

    I would be willing to vote for McCollum if he was running for Dogcatcher, but not anything else!!!

  2. Turddd Says:

    What Tools we have at ALL levels of Govt. here.

  3. bernie Says:

    a total and absolute joke, he is completely untrustworthy, charging $$$$$$$ as a way to create hoops to jump through, working a fraction of what is required, no wonder florida is the fraud capital of the world, just ahead of nigeria

  4. Roni MADORMA Says:

    WE NEED TO FIRE ALL THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPOSEDLY WORKING FOR THE GOOD OF THEIR STATE AND THE PEOPLE IN IT. I CONSIDER WHAT BILL MCCOLLUM DID WAS THEFT. ROBBING THE COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE.

  5. Roni MADORMA Says:

    GOVERNOR SANFORD NEEDS TO BE FIRED, STOLE THE MONEY FROM THE STATE TO SEE HIS MISTRESS. THIS MAN HAS NO SCRUPLES. THEN HE THINKS IF HE QUOTES THE BIBLE, IT MAKES HIM A GOOD CHRISTIAN?

  6. sign o the times Says:

    please Mr. McCollum,

    you’ve taken enough from the people of Florida. GET OFF THE DOLE!!!

    go home and get on with your private life.

    you’ve served. Thank you! Go Home now!!
    you’ve benefitted much more from your service than the people of Florida.
    That’s how you mark a failure as a public servant!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. ugh Says:

    Kam – this piece is junk. Although the blog is seemingly based upon facts, the light you portray the facts in is ridiculous. You can do better.

  8. Larry Martinelli Says:

    How come you never printed anything about the Democratic U.S. Senators, Obama, Clinton and Dodd getting paid for not showing up in Congress when they were campaigning for President. They and Sen McCain were also NOT doing the people’s work.
    Your incessant bias is the reason that I cancelled my subscription to the Palm Beach Post.

  9. BLOGTEXT Says:

    THIS BLOG IS VERY HARD TO READ ECAUSE OF THE BACKGROUND COLOR. THE TEXT ON HERE SHOULD BE WHITE. JUST SAYIN.

  10. Big-time part-timers in state government | The Opinion Zone Says:

    [...] The full PostOnPolitics blog entry on McCollum and Sink is here. [...]

  11. Post On Politics » Blog Archive » Post on Politics - Says:

    [...] years in statewide office, has worked an average of 33 hours per week since May 1, according to an analysis done by The Palm Beach Post. Her schedule shows she taken an average eight hours per week of personal time during the same time [...]

  12. Cathy Butler Says:

    It was just uncovered by myself, the mostly Republican based Parties under Crist and the OIG have been creating and keeping ‘dedicated files’ bogus in nature, on private citizens in the State of Florida, to black list and impede the Civil Rights of those they think will block or endanger election races. It works like this, an agent using the Passed Legistlation of Dedicated Files, which was to be used for Distribution concerning a person involved with child kidnapping, to multiple agents is now used to distribute bogus information to Political Opposes in the State of Florida without, that citizen having knowledge they are doing so. In my own file a clearly Republican Party Contributor was reported to Attorney General for defrauding Florida Citizens, this was backed by FBI Justice Department in Cal. saying they were in a Federal Court. That complaint was not investigated, to protect citizens, instead AG sent it to FDLE to be placed in a hidden file on myself to be distributed around the State. We forced the FDLE to release part of the files, and Crist was in on it as well as Jeb Bush, who on finding I was filing Ethics Charges against a supporter, requested even further creations of such files. Remember Bush came from a CIA father, so he knew the game plan.
    I happen to be a registered Democratic.
    Sad day when a grown man, can not get elected unless he black lists single working moms in the State of the other party. The Bush Administration will in future address be found to be the most common pathetic crooked politicians ever to have been placed into office. They make fools of us all.

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