Attorney General Candidate Bill Wohlsifer Takes Issue with Pam Bondi’s
Limited View on Hurricane Shutter Dangers
Candidate Wohlsifer says the role of the Attorney General is to be a Consumer Advocate
Tallahassee, Florida– Last May 31, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office published a news release stating that homeowners should only purchase hurricane shutters that were Florida Building Code (FBC) approved. FBC approved shutters are required to be installed with penetrating anchors that are driven at least 2 inches into the structure. “In the past I have personally followed these guidelines,” said Candidate Wohlsifer.
“However it never occurred to me that the plywood I bolted on could have trapped my family inside.”
Since 1998, there have been over 12 deaths in Florida and $51 Million in property destruction linked to bolted-on hurricane shutters and plywood. With the 2014 Hurricane Season approaching June 1, a new Petition to the Federal Government’s Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) spotlights the dangers facing Florida homeowners and firefighters regarding Florida Building Commission-approved bolted on hurricane shutters. Says Petitioner John D. Smith, Inventor of Storm Stoppers, a plywood alternative that can be safely removed from the inside of the home, “If Attorney General Bondi really cared about protecting the lives and safety of Floridians, she wouldn’t put out press releases that encourage homeowners to only buy Florida Building Code approved hurricane shutters, without also warning them of the dangers.” (See Temporary Hurricane Shutters and Firefighting Operations, Chief Hollins, Leigh, T. Fire Engineering, PennWell (June 2005) available at http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-158/issue-6/features/temporary-hurricane-shutters-and-firefighting-operations.html.
All of the deaths of homeowners trapped behind hurricane shutters occurred outside the threat of a hurricane. One death occurred on January 7, 2008 when Holocaust Survivor Esther Mabib of West Palm Beach was trapped behind her Accordion Shutters during a fire. Other news headlines in the Petition include: Hurricane Shutters hindered Hollywood fire victim from Hollywood, Florida on June 1, 2007 and Shutters blamed in fatal blaze that killed priest from September 15, 2004 in Fort Lauderdale. The priest was Father Jorge Sardinas, a St. Thomas University art professor, who was a beloved priest at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Miami Lakes. “I attended mass at Our Lady of the Lakes and I attended St. Thomas University School of Law,” says Candidate Wohlsifer. He continues, “I lived in Palm Beach County during the cluster of Hurricanes that struck in 2004-05. I have first-hand experience with Hurricane preparedness and clean up. Homeowners need to be warned of these bolted on hurricane shutter dangers and I support Storm Stoppers’ federal CPSC Petition.”
Florida can do better. As your next Attorney General, Bill Wohlsifer brings much more experience to Tallahassee than just prosecuting criminal cases. “I have experience in many areas of law, experience in diverse social settings, and experience in business. I am a self-made businessman that graduated law school at age 42, with honors. When elected Florida Attorney General, I will NOT allow special interest groups to mislead me from my job of protecting the public. I bring open-minded real world knowledge and leadership to the debate on Florida’s legal affairs for the health and safety of all Floridians,” said Wohlsifer.
Bill Wohlsifer (LPF) Candidate for Florida Attorney General
Steve Edmonds, Campaign Manager, 407-701-9045 — email@example.com