The Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller is an Elected Constitutional Officer & Independent Custodian of the Court Record
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, 2016 and again in 2020.
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:
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.
The office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court is authorized under the Florida State Constitution, Article V, Section 16 with various duties enumerated in statute, rules of court and local procedure.
There shall be in each county a Clerk of the Circuit Court who shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of Article VIII, Section I.
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 that time.
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.
Many citizens have used or will use the offices of The Clerk of the Circuit Court at some point in their life to:
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 nearly 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:
The current Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Ken Burke, was sworn in January 4, 2005.
To serve with integrity, transparency, and compassion.
To be a best-in-class Clerk’s Office with a diverse team of engaged employees who are innovative, focused, and committed to excellence.
1. We are dedicated to everything we do.
2. We are committed to excellent customer service.
3. We responsibly steward the information entrusted to us.
4. We embrace diversity and inclusion.
5. We collaborate to find a better way.
6. We show compassion for others.
7. We promote employee growth and development.
8. We do the right thing. Period.
The Clerk is responsible for over 1,000 different statutory duties for the citizen’s of Pinellas County and by way of the Speaker's Bureau, the public can choose from a variety of useful presentation topics for their meetings or events. These presentations can be of interest to civic groups, private clubs, community organizations and schools. Allow us to help you plan an interesting, educational and informative program by including a Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court speaker.
To request a speaker, contact Karen Lamb at (727) 464-3423.
The Clerk's office looks forward to assisting you with your presentation. Please note we will make every attempt to schedule your requested speaker on the date of your choice. However, it may sometimes be necessary to change dates or topics during times of heavy bookings to meet all requests.
The Role of the Clerk - Learn about the present-day role of the Clerk and the departments within the Clerk’s office. This presentation will offer an explanation of services provided by the Clerk’s various departments, as well as, identify customer service improvements incorporated to ensure the Clerk’s office provides excellent customer service with commitment to work and compassion for others.
Financial Transparency in Government Spending - This presentation focuses on the “Spending in the Sunshine” website which is centered on the public’s right to open government. Using this site, citizens can view detailed financial transactions within Pinellas County government and easily track every penny spent. Learn how much information can be easily accessed with just the click of a button.
Fraud Alert Service - This presentation focuses on a FREE public service offered by the Pinellas County Clerk’s office that can help you detect fraudulent documents recorded with your name in the Clerk’s Official Records. Customers signing up for this service will be notified, by phone or email, of any document recorded with their name in the Official Records of the Pinellas County Clerk’s office. Recordable documents include deeds and mortgages among many others. According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white-collar crime. Don’t delay, learn how you can stay informed of what’s being recorded in the Official Records today!
The Guardianship Process: What is the Clerk’s Function? - What is the statutory auditing role performed by the Clerk in protecting the ward’s assets? How does the Clerk’s office function in the guardianship process? Find out in this informative look at the responsibilities of both the guardian and the Clerk.
Protecting Confidential Information in Public Records - Are your bank, credit card and social security numbers available for public viewing online in your recorded deeds and other records? Learn how to use the Clerk’s website to locate your records online and how to request your protected information be redacted, or blacked-out of these documents. Learn more about the role of the Clerk in this redaction process and the steps being taken to simplify the process for you.
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T: How to Effectively Manage Your Staff” - This presentation on the leadership philosophy of the Clerk’s office, takes a look at the changes in the management style and philosophy made during the past year and a half and the employees’ reaction to the changes. Find out specific skills or methods used for successfully leading and managing staff.
The “People’s Court”: Small Claims Cases, Self-representation and more - This presentation will cover the basics of filing a small claims case, the tools and information available from the Clerk’s office and on the Clerk’s website, as well as, provide information on the various legal assistance programs available in Pinellas County.
Overview of the Clerk’s Online Services - You can accomplish a lot online at the Clerk’s website. Learn how to access to public records, court dockets, BCC meeting minutes, a small claims video, useful forms and information from every department in the Clerk’s office online!
There are a variety of volunteer responsibilities allowing for a wide range of interesting work.
Volunteer application is hosted and processed by
Pinellas County Volunteer Services.
If you would like to speak with someone about volunteering with the Clerk's office, please contact:
If you would like to speak with someone about volunteering in the Recording Department of the Clerk's office,