Ashley Moody promises fiscal efficiency, efforts to predict organized crime activity

She gave remarks at Florida TaxWatch, which just gave her office high marks on fiscal responsibility.

Attorney General Ashley Moody reacted with glee when Florida TaxWatch gave her office its State Agency of the Year award.

“I’m telling you, I’ve not been so proud since I was 17 years old Strawberry Festival Queen,” the Plant City native said.

The Republican official said eliminating waste and improving government efficiency is one of her favorite elements of public service, even if it isn’t the most high-profile work in the state’s top legal office.

Some more prominent achievements have included being the first state to reach a resolution in legal action against manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies after suing entities for their role in worsening the opioid crisis.

The work built up enough political capital to help Moody win re-election this year by a greater margin than any other statewide official.

But Moody in a speech at Florida TaxWatch’s annual meeting credited the lawyers on her staff for much of the work. As Attorney General, she said she worked to attract the brightest political minds possible to her office, which by nature requires a commitment to advancing the public interest. “The Department of Legal Affairs is the largest law firm in the state,” she said.

“I’m so proud to lead mission-driven attorneys and professional paralegals. They don’t make as much money as they would in the private sector. But they are so committed to fighting for Florida — and a protected Florida — and what they might not get in the private sector in terms of pecuniary rewards they do get that gratification in knowing that they are leading that charge.”

She said tackling crime and organized theft rings will be a priority of her second term. Her office is working with software that will anticipate such activity.

“It breaks my heart to see more news of businesses in other areas of the country where they’ll just close the door and leave a note and say you have to leave because of the rampant crime,” she said.

“That will never happen in Florida. We’ve been working on that and putting together a database making sure that we’re bringing in and organizing a statewide task force. We now have a program working proactively where we can identify where these organized crime rings are going to hit next.”

Crime continues to be a pressing issue for Moody and Florida law enforcement. As Moody spoke in Miami, the United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade met at the Top of the Hill Banquet & Conference Center in Washington for the national summit. The goal of the gathering was to develop an effective state-by-state counter-action against the crime rings responsible for trafficking of all sorts.

It’s a matter of particular significance in Florida, which has 14 major water ports and the second longest shoreline in the U.S. behind only Alaska. In 2019, Florida saw more cocaine trafficked by weight that any other state, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s also a hotbed of human smuggling activity. A Polaris study ranked Florida third in the nation in number of sex trafficking cases, with 5,384 specific cases on record since 2007.

There’s money flowing illegally into the state as well. Feds seized more than $88 million in smuggled currency from 2015 to 2016, according to the DEA.

This year, Moody’s job has entailed some direct assistance and protection of the public in the wake of Hurricane Ian. She said much of her staff has directly helped individuals impacted by the Category 4 storm.

“We have been so fortunate and actually successful and how we’ve organized our price gouging response teams and in this particular storm, because we were able to set up the disaster recovery centers,” she said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Elliott Offen

    December 1, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Next up, 15 years prison for retail theft. 10 years prison for fighting. 5 years prison for DUI. 1 year in the county jail for smoking in public. Oh yeah, death penalty for drug dealers. It will be like Singapore here. Hell, already is!

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      December 2, 2022 at 9:47 am

      Of course the far left doesn’t like it when the money supply gets cut off. Too bad so sad.

Comments are closed.


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