Bennett H. Brummer Presents U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek the Florida Public Defender Association's L. Clayton Nance Award

Public Defender Bennett Brummer and U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek


For the first time, the Florida Public Defender Association has bestowed it's highest honor on an official at the national level, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami.

Bennett H. Brummer, the Miami-Dade County Public Defender, presented the L. Clayton Nance Award to the Congressman on Thursday, December 4, during the statewide organization's winter training conference at the Radisson Bahia Mar, in Fort Lauderdale.

"It was a personal honor for me," Brummer said, "to present our state association's highest award to Rep. Meek, having worked closely with both him and his mother over the years on so many issues of vital importance to our community and to the clients my office serves."

Rep. Meek is the first of Florida's Congressional delegation to express support for one of Brummer's and the FPDA’s top priorities—pending federal legislation to establish a student loan repayment assistance program for assistant public defenders and prosecutors.

The Congressman's Washington office says Rep. Meek considers it "a great bill and is in full support," and that he notified the House sponsor, Rep. David Scott of Georgia, that he would be signing on as a co-sponsor.

Rep. Meek spent eight years in the Florida Legislature, including two terms in the House and one in the Senate, before winning the congressional seat that his mother, Carrie Meek, held for 10 years until retiring in 2002.

A 1989 graduate of Florida A&M University and a former captain of the state's Highway Patrol, Rep. Meek spearheaded the successful referendum last year to reduce class size in overcrowded public schools, and is best known as a tireless champion of civil rights and civil liberties. He currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Select Committee on Homeland Security.

"I am deeply honored to receive this important award, not only because of the legacy of L. Clayton Nance—the strength of character he demonstrated in his life and his passion for fairness and equal rights under the law—but also because of the high regard I have for Public Defenders in Florida and the work they do to make our legal system work for every person in our society," said Meek.

The L. Clayton Nance Award was established in 1977 to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the improvement of the state's criminal justice system. It bears the name of its first recipient and Florida's first Public Defender, who served from 1953 until he was appointed to the Broward County Circuit Court bench in 1966, where he held office until his death in 1979.

Previous recipients include four Chief Justices of the Florida Supreme (Gerald Kogan, Raymond Ehrlich, James C. Atkins, B.K. Roberts, and Richard M. Ervin); and two Florida Governors (C. Farris Bryant and LeRoy Collins).



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Law Offices of the Public Defender
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida


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