White Florida state official asks black man seeking right to vote: ‘How many different mothers, kids do you have?’
After serving time for a felony, Florida resident Erwin Jones, appeared in court before Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the cabinet, sitting as the Executive Clemency Board, seeking to get his civil rights back, so he could vote, sit on a jury or run for public office.
However, Jones, a black man was subjected to racial discrimination as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked him a series of highly offensive questions, according to the Florida Phoenix.
During the June 14 meeting, Patronis asked Jones how many children he had, and “how many different mothers to those children [there are]?”
Patronis, a Republican also asked another man seeking clemency, William Reid Hicks, if he attended church or not.
Tallahassee attorney, Richard Greenberg, who has represented people seeking clemency for more than two decades said Patronis questions were shocking.
“I don’t think I’ve heard anyone else ask that question. It seems totally irrelevant,” Greenberg said.
Activists said his questioning showed the: “deeply flawed process felons face when seeking official clemency to restore their civil rights in Florida.”
Patronis is running for reelection in November
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story previously displayed a photo of Florida State Senator Jeremy Ring who is running again Patronis in the upcoming election. We regret the error.)