Areas of Expertise

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Administrative Law
The Office of the County Attorney (OCA) represents Sarasota County, its officials and employees at all levels and in all issues that are subject to the Florida Administrative Procedure Act, Florida Statutes, Chapter 120. The attorneys are involved in all aspects of administrative law, including the permit application process, investigations, administrative hearings, civil enforcement proceedings and appeals.

Stephen E. DeMarsh
Alan W. Roddy
Maria D. Korn
David M. Pearce

 

Civil Rights
The Office of the County Attorney defends civil actions involving violation of an individual's constitutional rights and certain federal statutory rights including, for example, claims under the 4th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, claims under the ADEA, ADA, FMLA, Title VII, EEOC litigation, etc.

Frederick J. Elbrecht
Maria D. Korn
Karl A. Senkow


 

Code Enforcement
The Office of the County Attorney prosecutes all Affidavits of Violation brought before the Special Master as established pursuant to Florida Statutes, Chapter 162. Affidavits of Violation are issued for violation of the Sarasota County Code governing natural resources, health department, solid waste, building and zoning, pollution control and the fire department.  

David M. Pearce
Scott T. Bossard
Maria D. Korn

 

Collections/Subrogation
The Office of the County Attorney handles collection claims on behalf of various County departments, including solid waste, finance, parks and recreation, animal control and building and zoning. These collection actions are instituted in foreclosure of special assessments and other municipal liens, collection of checks returned for non-payment and recovery of indebtedness from unpaid County leases or permits. Collection efforts also focus on third-party liens present in workers' compensation cases and on recovery from the Special Disability Trust Fund, established by the Florida Workers' Compensation Law. In addition, the Office of the County Attorney collects subrogation claims arising from damage to County vehicles and property.

Bora S. Kayan
Maria D. Korn

 

Contract and Commercial Law
The Office of the County Attorney reviews all contracts to which the County is a party, including contracts for constructions, special events, leases, use permits, grants and public works. The contract review process entails an initial review of the contracts for form and correctness and, if necessary, modification before execution. With respect to construction contracts, the OCA represents the County in all phases of construction, including structuring relationship, negotiation, documentation, title insurance and dispute resolution.  All transactions where the County assumes the role of the purchaser are reviewed for consistency with state and County Procurement Law.

Thomas R. Wolfe
Sarah E. Blackwell
Bora S. Kayan

 

Election Law
The Office of the County Attorney represents the Supervisor of Elections in all legal matters including contract review, statutory interpretation and litigation. The OCA also monitors all Canvassing Board activities.

 
Alan W. Roddy
Frederick J. Elbrecht

 

Eminent Domain
Upon a determination of public purpose and necessity by the Board, the Office of the County Attorney institutes condemnation proceedings under Florida Eminent Domain Law. Condemnation proceedings arise when negotiations to purchase property to be used for road widenings, parks, libraries and other public facilities have failed.

Karl A. Senkow

 

Environmental Law
The proliferation of local, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations have necessitated continuous dialogue between the Office of the County Attorney and the various state departments involved in issues relating to water and air pollution, wetlands, solid and hazardous waste handling and disposal, occupational safety and health, area beautification, recycling and natural resource development. The OCA represents the County in various environmental law actions before state agencies as well as before the Courts.

David M. Pearce
Alan W. Roddy

 

Finance
The Office of the County Attorney provides legal advice and assistance to the Board of County Commissioners, County Administration, and various Business Centers regarding a broad range of financial matters. These services include legal analysis regarding options for funding facilities and services as well as financing options such as long-term bonds. County impact fee and special assessment systems, which generate substantial County revenues must comply with procedural and substantive legal requirements both in their creation and ongoing management. The development and adoption of the County's Annual Budget and Capital Improvements Program benefits from the OCA's legal advice regarding compliance with relevant law. The Office of the County Attorney provides comprehensive assistance to the County regarding all financial issues and programs.

Stephen E. DeMarsh

 

Franchise
Sarasota County grants franchises to private entities which provide water, sewer, solid waste, and cable television services to the citizens of Sarasota County. The Office of the County Attorney assists staff in the preparation of regulatory rate cases for water, sewer and solid waste utilities and represents staff at those rate hearings. The OCA also renders legal opinions as to the applicability of local, state and federal law to the operations of the franchise utilities, represents the County in franchise receivership actions, negotiates franchise renewals, and assists staff in the voluntary and involuntary termination of franchise agreements.

Stephen E. DeMarsh

 

General Government Practice
The Office of the County Attorney advises the Board and County departments in local government matters such as the Florida Code of Ethics for public officials, dual office holding restrictions, government in the sunshine laws, financial disclosure laws and other statutes or regulations pertaining to local government officials and employees. Persons with questions regarding these areas of law are encouraged to contact the OCA for assistance.

Stephen E. DeMarsh
Maria D. Korn
Alan W. Roddy
Karl A. Senkow
Frederick J. Elbrecht
Sarah E. Blackwell

 

Intergovernmental Agreements
Sarasota County has numerous interlocal agreements and contracts with various municipalities and other governmental entities. These agreements address a wide range of issues including utility services, provision of facilities and consolidation of County and municipal services such as parks and recreation, fire protection services, emergency service dispatch and stormwater management. The Office of the County Attorney routinely reviews new agreements and amendments to existing agreements and provides other assistance as requested by the Administration.

Stephen E. DeMarsh
Thomas R. Wolfe

 

Labor/Employment Law
The Office of the County Attorney represents Sarasota County and provides advice regarding union organization, collective bargaining, union contract administration and grievances as well as personnel policies, internal disciplinary actions and due process hearings. This area of practice emphasizes preventative law through training initiatives on fair employment practices.

Maria D. Korn
Frederick J. Elbrecht

 

Land Use and Planning
The Office of the County Attorney advises and represents the County in all land use, planning, zoning and land development regulation matters, including the review of site plans, subdivision plans and development of regional impact; request for rezoning, special exceptions and variances; the development and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan and land development regulations; concurrency review; and the adoption of impact fees. The Office of the County Attorney serves as counsel to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Board of County Commissioners during public hearings on land use matters. The OCA also monitors the County's compliance with the state growth management requirements and represents the County in proceedings before state agencies on these issues. The OCA provides legal counsel to the Zoning Administrator,  Development Services and Growth Management Business Centers in the interpretation and enforcement of the County's Zoning Ordinance and Building Codes.

Stephen E. DeMarsh 
Alan W. Roddy
David M. Pearce
Karl A. Senkow

 

Real Property
The Office of the County Attorney routinely reviews legal documents relating to easements, dedications, conveyances and subdivision plats for the purpose of determining the County's interest in real property.

Thomas R. Wolfe
Karl Senkow

 

Telecommunications
The Office of the County Attorney negotiates cable and telecom franchises, implements statutory changes and drafts related ordinances.

 

Torts
The Office of the County Attorney defends civil actions under state law for alleged intentional or negligent conduct that causes injury to persons or damage to property, excluding civil rights claims. Examples include claims for trespass, false arrest, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, negligent maintenance of improvements, improper performance of duties, etc.

Bora S. Kayan
Frederick J. Elbrecht

 

Utilities
In addition to regulating privately-owned franchise water and sewer utilities, Sarasota County also owns and operates water and sewer utilities.  The Office of the County Attorney assists staff in contract negotiations related to the operations of the County-owned utilities and to the acquisition of privately-owned utilities.  The OCA also represents the County in utilities-related litigation.

Stephen E. DeMarsh

 

Workers' Compensation
The professional services rendered by the OCA include handling all workers' compensation cases, advising the Risk Management Office of the applicable law in adjusting a claim, litigating and settling all workers' compensation issues, and rendering legal opinions on any claim that has become difficult for an adjuster to handle, whether in litigation or not. The OCA also prepares legal opinions in connection with claims for County departments or administrative offices. The OCA will also advise the Risk Management Office regarding reimbursement for workers' compensation benefits paid where the employee's injuries were caused by a third-party. In cases where reimbursement cannot be amicably obtained, the OCA will institute and litigate such claims against the party at fault.

Maria D. Korn