William Dillon, Eric Brody claims bills continue House trek

Feb 23, 2012

The following article was published in The Florida Current on February 23, 2012:

Dillon, Brody claims bills continue House trek

By Gray Rohrer

Already through the Senate, two claims bills that fell victim to the meltdown at the end of the legislative session last year are set to move forward in the House.

House members on Thursday prepared a bill to give William Dillon $1.35 million to compensate for his wrongful incarceration of 27 years for a murder he did not commit. A vote on the floor is expected Friday, but the language of SB 2 was altered slightly by the House to solidify the recognition of Dillon’s innocence, and must be taken up by the Senate again if the House passes the measure.

A second bill, HB 445, awarding $10.75 million to the family of Eric Brody, who was severely injured when he was involved in a car wreck with a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy in 1998, is up in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. That’s its last committee stop before heading to the House floor. It also differs from the version passed by the Senate, SB 4, placing a cap on attorney’s fees in the case at $400,000.

Both bills are a top priority of Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, having passed out of that chamber on the first day of session this year. Last year, when senators rebelled against leadership in voting down budget conforming bills, the House adjourned without taking up either bill. Just before sine die, Haridopolos said, “politics got in the way tonight, and for that I apologize.”

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