STATE OF FLORIDA
OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
TAxJA HArSEE, FLORIDA 323C
EAm. FAPmcLorT October 2, 19ft' WORDS: AiexLw-,,
Mr. L. M. Blain
Gibbons, Tucker, McEwen, Smith, Coffer & Taub
Attorneys at Law
606 Madison Street
Dear Mr. Blain:
This will acknowledge and thank you for your
letter of September 30, 1969, renewing your request
for an opinion (formerly withdrawn) as to whether
or not the Southwest Florida Water Management District
may offer rewards for the arrest and conviction of
persons who steal or destroy personal property of the
A cursory search of the statutes relating to the
Southwest Florida Water Management District fail to
reveal any express or implied authority for the said
District to offer such rewards.
Therefore, in the absence of any statutory author-
ity, your question is answered in the negative.
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of the opinion that the Southwest Florida Mater ilS -t
does not hae sufficient authority to offtr to pay osiitA
Over the years, the Attorney General has issued oonftlting
opinions about Sheriffs having authority to Islle et f) iStfap.
In 1946 J. Tom Watson was asked if a Shoriff told l3y orfer a
reward for tho arrest and convietion in eass involve g tee therf of
livestock, and charge the reward as an rapedae of tb* l le
answered the question in the negative stat ln Wht tia u find no.
authority for paying suoh reward froa County funds.s LPwr. 12. '6CI.
046-519 December 17, 1946
In 1949, Riohard W. trvin was asked if a Sheitff is autborise to
pay a reward for the apprehension of a original and charge Sei reasf
against his effiee expense. He referred to the earlir *i*tio otod
above, ao6tloledged that thee had been oonflioting opinion from the
office of the Attorney General, and stated:
"If it appears that the payment of a reward is the
amot logical means to be weloyed and ania seos
adiettes that there it little hope of fi a
original through other ieans, I believe l suoh
action is Justified."
The opinion goes on to state that any opinions reodra d to the
contrary are therefore overruled. Oy t. r l (4
049-246 June 3, 1949
In 1955, the Attorney Oenaml wap asked if a Bad et County
ComissieaM could put up a reward ftr I o f a Paaon who
had oonittod a crime in that County. This Wu tSN Wat en d in
the negative, oitft several authorities. However, tthi o aO did
refer to the 1949 opinion and itlied sepdting ou beSO utW# ...
ader that Seotion. A oopy of this latter opinion u atta r'
All authorities appear to be in agreem-t that aioipalitites
and other subdivisions of the State have n peaer to offer meafdls
unless such power has been spealfioally oontered by the MIaelature,
$590.16, Florid Statutes, speeifially autherins te Plorida
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SBard of gm try, in its disertionu to-
informltie Iediag to the arrit Sa l
lAtIn any of the provisions of Chapter 5g. k *- i
to forest protection )
1372.911 speeitieally authorizes the OQa h
Cogission to etoer regards up to 00.00 for
arrest and eonvietion of persenu inflicting bI
life officers esngagd in enforoment of the prv i of1p
372, Florida Statutes.
If soM unlawful aot has already been aoomttl t WMte gem
of a peouliar nature tthe prayerty or bulasa ofa th. W olte*
and a reward is the most logial MUas and & a 46 dl at
there is little hope of ringdii thea crifL t. .W .
then the offer of Distriot ti might be Justifid. 1, t i o in
my mind, is questionable.
In other words, I think we need special leMg0 Ali 1-or ty
before any rewardsm are offered. heref~te, I ha#ia Ja pro-
posed letter to the Attorney oGneral, whih is ttaati.
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