This is not the headline you want when you hire a lobbyist

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The Dixie County School Board has hired former appeals court judge Paul Hawkes to lobby the Florida Legislature for money for a new high school. 

The headline pictured below in the Dixie County Advocate is probably not what the school board had in mind when it decided to hire Hawkes.

My sources in Dixie County — yes I have sources in that neck of the woods — tells me that the school board was basically unaware of Hawkes’ past scandals.

Hawkes, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives, was appointed to Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal by then-Governor Jeb Bush in 2003.

Hawkes later resigned rather than face an ethics trial before the Judicial Qualifications Commission for his abuses in masterminding the construction of a $50 million courthouse.

Tampa Bay Times senior correspondent Lucy Morgan reported how Hawkes abused his office to quietly persuade the Legislature to borrow money, intimidated state employees involved in the construction, sought a trip from a furniture vendor and ordered the destruction of public documents.

Jeez, I wonder if there will be any scrutiny of an appropriations project if Hawkes is lobbying for it. You think?

hawkes, paul - newsstory

Material from the Tampa Bay Times was used in this post.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.