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Hillsborough clerk of court lays off 39 employees in budget crunch

TAMPA — The sting of budget cuts hit the Hillsborough clerk of court on Tuesday, with 39 people losing their jobs.

One man had a particularly bad day.

In addition to getting laid off, William Edward Nabors was arrested on allegations that he tampered with the clerk's computer system after getting wind that he would be let go.

Nabors, 40, was booked into jail on felony charges of official misconduct and offense against computer users, and one misdemeanor, falsifying records.

Hillsborough Clerk Pat Frank didn't want to talk about the arrest, but she said it was a tough day all around.

"It's not a happy scene for anybody," she said.

The laid-off employees were gathered in the jury services room at the courthouse and informed as a group that they would be out of work. Some cried, Frank said.

The Clerk's Office had hoped to tell people individually, she said, but concerns about security resulted in the group meeting.

Frank had warned that layoffs were inevitable after a turbulent legislative session for the state's elected clerks. The clerks avoided losing any duties to the judiciary, but the Legislature will now have oversight of their finances.

Since last week, 44 people have been let go from the Clerk's Office. In the past year, 41 vacant positions also have been eliminated, said clerk spokeswoman Linda Goldstein.

More cuts could be made by July 1. By the time the winnowing of the clerk's 800-plus work force is complete, one out of nine employees will have been laid off, Goldstein said.

Of the cuts made Monday, 28 were court-related positions, including some who serve at the clerk's front counters.

Goldstein said the employees who remain are likely to receive pay cuts in the form of salary reductions, furloughs and fewer hours, or a combination of those things.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Hillsborough clerk of court lays off 39 employees in budget crunch 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:03pm]
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