Pam Bondi has devoted her entire career to standing up against crime and protecting the lives and well-being of others. As Florida’s Attorney General, she is best known for her driven and effective campaigns to crack down on pill mills and drug abuse in our state, and her crusade to make Florida a zero tolerance state for human trafficking. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Pam served as a respected prosecutor and well-known victim’s right advocate in Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit for nearly two decades. During that time, she worked on every imaginable type of crime, including homicides, crimes against children and the elderly, identity theft, kidnapping, fraud, gang-related cases, DUI manslaughters, drug trafficking and domestic violence. It was through those experiences that Pam learned firsthand about the importance of standing up to injustice when others could not, and the significance of speaking up for victims when others would not.
In 2010, Pam made the difficult decision to leave the job that she loved in order to apply for one that would allow her to stand taller and speak louder against injustice as the chief legal officer for citizens throughout the entire state. The voters, in a sweeping election, chose the career long prosecutor and first time candidate as Florida’s 37th Attorney General – making her the first woman in history to serve as Florida’s chief legal officer. One of her first orders of business was to take on the growing pill mill and prescription drug abuse crisis in Florida. Florida was the epicenter of our nation’s pill mill epidemic and a top destination for drug dealers and users from around the country. Pam worked tirelessly with the Legislature and law enforcement agencies to create and resoundingly pass a comprehensive “pill mill bill” to crack down on this dangerous crime. Two years later, in an incredible turnaround, none of the top dispensing physicians of oxycodone reside in Florida; the prescription-drug related deaths are dramatically decreasing; 4,326 related arrests have been made; 870,000 pills have been removed from our streets and $11,261,313 in criminal prescription-drug related assets have been seized.
Pam has continued efforts to keep dangerous drugs off of our streets by banning deadly synthetic drugs such as “bath salts,” “spice,” and “mollies,” and by championing awareness programs and prescription drug take-back days. She has also seen the devastating aftermath of drug abuse in Florida and has created a task force aimed at studying the far-reaching affects and prevention strategies on behalf of the most innocent victims of this crime: babies born drug addicted. Along with her work to address the pill mill and drug abuse crisis facing our state, Pam has championed and coordinated an all-hands-on-deck approach to addresses to the horrific crime of human trafficking. Florida has become a hub for human trafficking and Pam has referred to South Florida as ground zero for these acts of modern day slavery. As recently as 2011, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center ranked Florida as third in the number of calls they received to report incidents of human trafficking. Pam has led significant efforts to join local, state and federal forces in order to most effectively update and streamline existing human trafficking laws. In addition to legislative efforts, Pam has been on the front lines of advocacy and awareness efforts, including partnering with FDLE to create an online training course on human trafficking for law enforcement officers; partnering with businesses across Florida who are dedicated to stopping human trafficking and creating a statewide campaign that includes billboards, online toolkits and tip sheets for talking to your kids about internet safety.
Along with her critical work on pill mills and human trafficking, Pam has been a successful advocate for Florida’s consumers. Her Medicaid Fraud unit recovered $182 million dollars in fraudulent funds in 2012-2013 alone, and her participation in a multistate national mortgage suit over mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices resulted in an historic settlement on behalf of Floridians and hundreds of millions of dollars of relief for Florida’s homeowners.
Pam is a fourth generation Floridian and a native to Tampa. She received her BA in Criminal Justice in 1987 from the University of Florida and her Juris Doctor in 1990 from Stetson Law School. She currently serves on the Board of “The Spring,” Tampa’s domestic violence shelter, she serves on the University of Florida Alumni Board, the Special Olympics Florida Board of Directors and she gets great joy from using her podium to highlight the important efforts and work of the Humane Society in finding homeless animals their forever home.