Hillsborough state attorney candidate proposes more public meetings
TAMPA — Hillsborough state attorney candidate Andrew Warren, who is running against incumbent State Attorney Mark Ober, issued a press release Tuesday morning outlining several proposals to make the county's top prosecutor more visible.
"The job of the State Attorney requires not just managing the office of prosecutors but also engaging with the community to prevent and reduce crime," he said in a written statement. "This is a simple step to improve relations between the office and the community."
Warren, a former former federal fraud prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, resigned in order to run against Ober, becoming the first Democrat to challenge the incumbent Republican in years. Since entering the race, he has criticized Ober's work ethic — suggesting that after four terms, Ober has essentially stopped coming to the office.
Ober denies this. "My job is not 9 to 5," he said last month, when questioned about how frequently he shows up at the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office in Tampa.
Warren's proposal suggests the following:
- Once a year, the State Attorney will hold an open forum with members of the community and his deputies to report on the direction of the office and policy changes over the previous 12 months. The meetings will be broadcast online and available through the State Attorney's website.
- Every quarter, the State Attorney will host a community workshop with his deputies and community leaders to address specific concerns raised by constituents. This, also, will be broadcast online and available through the State Attorney's website.
- The State Attorney's Office will implement new technology to track charging, plea, and sentencing information with other metadata in an effort to target crime more efficiently and ensure cases are being handled consistently. These stats will also be available to the public on the website.