Lou A. Vargas
The Bureau of Legal Services provides legal advice to the department heads and staff regarding, among other things, personnel matters, rule promulgation, bids, contracts, sentence structure, early release, gaintime, public records, subpoenas and legislation. This bureau also represents the department in judicial and administrative tribunals, and provides training to staff.
The Bureau of Legal Services complied with the Governor's rule reduction effort by reaching its goal of reducing the department rules by 50% in FY 1996-97. The bureau also began the process of identifying rulemaking authority for and reviewing, line by line, each of the department's rules that were adopted before October 1, 1996. This process was undertaken to assure full and timely compliance with the statutory mandate to provide a listing of each rule that exceeds statutory authority to the Legislature by October 1, 1997. Additionally, the bureau successfully resolved all claims for relief in United States of America v. State of Florida. That resolution resulted in a $74,103.55 reimbursement to the state of Florida.