Ken Burke serves as the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller for Pinellas County, Florida. Growing up in Pinellas, attending high school and college locally, plus experience as a CPA, a law firm administrator and college board chairman, Ken’s credentials are well matched to the duties of the Clerk’s office. In November 2004, Pinellas County voters recognized Ken’s long list of qualifications and elected him to serve as the Clerk. He was sworn in on January 4, 2005 and was re-elected without opposition in 2008, 2012 and again in 2016.
Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in 1999 and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist, Ken Burke has also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College.
Ken was also elected to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Board of Directors in 2001. In 2005-07 he served as Chair of the Association.
Ken Burke served as president of Catholic Charities Housing Corporation for the diocese of St. Petersburg and on the Board of Governors of Catholic Charities. His community named Ken “Mr. Seminole” in 1999 in recognition of his civic contribution.
In June 2011, Ken was elected to serve as President of the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers, a non-profit, statewide organization. The Association is comprised of the Florida Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers, and provides education and accreditation for Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers, information and technical assistance to local governments.
His long record of civic involvement includes serving as:
- President of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club
- Government chairman for the All Children’s Hospital Development Council
- President of the Kiwanis Club of Seminole
- President of the St. Petersburg Jr. College Alumni Association
- President of the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers
He and his wife, Cecilia (Reese), have three children – Catherine, Patrick and Brendan.
Since assuming office, Ken has been elected by his fellow clerks to the statewide Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC), which is the board created by the Legislature to approve the Clerks’ court related budget. Chief Justice Pariente invited Ken to participate in the Florida Supreme Court’s "Access to Justice" to improve access to the courts by pro se litigants; and to serve on a committee to review the Supreme Court’s judicial plan. Ken was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity. Furthermore, Ken serves as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) and as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Court Clerks, County Records & Election Officials (NACRC). Most recently, he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Higher Education Coordinating Council.
The Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts is a Constitutional Officer who derives authority and responsibility from constitutional and statutory provisions. The Clerk is elected to serve a four-year term by the voters of Pinellas County. The Clerk of the Circuit Court manages all courthouse records, a local budget of approximately $43 million and about 550 employees.
Duties & Responsibilities of the Clerk of the Circuit Court
As Clerk of the Circuit and County Court
- maintains custody of court records
- maintains custody of all related pleadings filed
- secures evidence entered in court
- ensures integrity of court files is protected
- collects and disburses court fines and assessments and court ordered child support
- summons prospective jurors
As Recorder of Deeds
- maintains Official Records of Pinellas County and ensures
their integrity is protected
As Clerk and Accountant of the Board of
- maintains Official Records of the Board
- maintains county financial records and prepares financial reports
As Custodian of all County funds
- receives and records county revenue
- invests county funds
- pre-audits and processes county payments
As County Auditor
As an Elected Official
- delivers quality service in most cost
- serves as a trustee in handling collection and disbursements of funding for numerous agencies
- serves as "watchdog" for citizens of Pinellas County to ensure funds expended are only for a public purpose and for the benefit of the public as a whole
The History of the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Many citizens have used or will use the offices of The Clerk of the Circuit Court at some point
in their life to:
The Florida Constitution established a Clerk of the Circuit Court as an elected public trustee in 1838 and established at
the county level a system of checks and balances that has served the public well. The Clerk’s Office has always been the
“hub” around which each County’s government operates.
On November 14, 1911, Pinellas County, Florida’s 48th county, was born as a result of legislation giving residents of
"West Hillsborough” independence. On December 15, as provided for by the legislature, Governor Albert Gilchrist appointed
C.W. Weicking as Pinellas County’s 1st Clerk of The Clerk of the Circuit Court. Sixteen people have served as Clerk since
Duties assigned to the Office are: Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts; Clerk and Accountant of the Board for County
Commissioners; Recorder of Deeds; Custodian of County Funds/County Treasurer; and County Auditor/ Comptroller.
Over the years the Clerk has assumed more than 1,000 individual statutory duties as delegated by the Florida Legislature.
These duties affect the rights and property of all Pinellas County citizens. The Florida constitution and statutes require
that the Clerk:
- Pay a traffic ticket or File a pleading;
- Record a property deed or Settle an estate;
- Look up public information or Serve on a jury;
- Pick up a child support check or Obtain a marriage license.
The current Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Ken Burke, was sworn in January 4, 2005.
- Be an elected official subject to public scrutiny.
- Be governed by statutory authority in carrying out the duties and functions of the office.
- Act as auditor and custodian of county funds, is subject to state Auditor General rules and regulations.
- Be subject to annual audits by independent audit firms.
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