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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Siplin wants a little relief for 'Justice 2 Jesus'

5

August

Sen. Gary Siplin, who knows a thing or two about arrest and acquittal, wants to provide some relief -- at taxpayer expense -- to the Capitol gadfly Brian Pitts, better known as "Brian Pitts, Justice 2 Jesus."

SB58, filed July 21, proposes that the Division of Administrative Hearings appoint an administrative law judge to determine whether Pitts deserves compensation (up to $350,000) for a 2003 arrest on charges he practiced law without a license. Siplin's bill contends that Pitts was wrongly arrested, that Florida has recognized the right of "lay persons" to practice law, and that authorities since the arrest have "deprived Mr. Pitts of the privilege of practicing law as prescribed by the Legislature and Florida Supreme Court, subjecting him to civil and criminal proceedings and penalties on an ongoing basis."

A Philadelphia native who moved to St. Petersburg in 1999, Pitts spent four months in 2003 in the Pinellas County jail for practicing law without a license. He was later arrested on another count of unlicensed practice of law.

Siplin isn't the first lawmaker to propose legislation in Pitts' name or at his urging. Guess this means Pitts will be back for session 2010.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:55pm]

    

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