The Chief Financial Officer of Florida is being slammed after asking a Black applicant seeking clemency a series of inappropriate questions.
Erwin Jones was hoping to earn his civil rights back after serving his time in prison for a felony. He stood in front of the Executive Clemency Board, the cabinet and Governor Rick Scott only to be asked odd questions that indicated racial discrimination, the Florida Phoenix reported on Thursday.
In the midst of the clemency gathering Jimmy Patronis asked Jones, “How many children do you have?” and “How many different mothers to those children?”
Former state Senator Jeremy Ring said,”Where do we start beyond, ‘unacceptable’.”
“I wholeheartedly denounce CFO Patronis’ questioning during a clemency hearing of Erwin Jones. It is unconscionable that Mr. Jones, would be asked in a public hearing how many children and how many different mothers of those children,” Ring expressed. “Not only should that have zero to do with Mr. Jones ability to have his rights restored, but smacks of racism, intolerance and ignorance. CFO Patronis should issue an immediate apology. This is just another example of why the current Florida Clemency process is unfair and tainted. It’s no wonder a Federal Judge recently ruled that Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet issued a ruling to reform the entire practice of rights restoration.”
Richard Greenberg an attorney of Tallahassee, Fl said, “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone else ask that question. It seems totally irrelevant.”
Patronis will be running for re-election as Florida’s CFO in November.
Advocates told the news outlet that unfortunately, this is the flawed process ex-convicts face when they’re looking to restore their civil rights in Florida.