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Adam Tebrugge was the Democratic candidate for Public Defender, 12th Judicial Circuit. He has now opened Tebrugge Legal which focuses on issues with DNA, Forensic Pathology and Mental Health.

Last Build Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2018 15:55:07 +0000


Are You Any Good?

Sun, 06 Sep 2009 18:40:00 +0000

SCENE: A small room with two chairs and maybe a table. In one chair sits a young man who appears both bored and tough. Into the room walks a woman.

LYN PROCTOR: “Mr. Rob Pilfer?

ROB PILFER: “That’s Me.”

LYN PROCTOR: “Hi. My name is Lyn Proctor and I’ve been appointed by the Court to be your attorney.

ROB PILFER: “Are you any good?”

LYN PROCTOR: “Excuse me?”

ROB PILFER: “I need a good attorney. I’ve had Public Defenders before and they didn’t do anything for me. So I’m asking you, are you any good?”

LYN PROCTOR: “Well, I’m not very experienced, I have a crushing case-load, and I’m afraid that I’m about to lose my job, but other than that, yeah, I’m pretty good.”

ROB PILFER: “Why are you about to lose your job?”

LYN PROCTOR: “Budget cuts.”

ROB PILFER: “Oh. What’s your caseload?”

LYN PROCTOR: “Well I guess I’m carrying about 150 right now.”

ROB PILFER: “Oh. And you’re not very experienced?”

LYN PROCTOR: “No. I’ve only been out of law school a year. Well, not quite a year. And I was just sworn in as a lawyer about six months ago.”

ROB PILFER: “Why should I think you’re any good? Why should I trust you?”

LYN PROCTOR: “I’m passionate about my job. I really care about my clients. I fight hard in Court. And I’m all you’ve got right now.”


ROB PILFER: (breaks down) “Oh Ms. Proctor I’m in so much trouble.”


This sixty second play was performed as part of the "Got a Minute" festival at the Player's Theatre in Sarasota, Florida on September 4, 5th and 6th, 2009 and written by Adam Tebrugge.

Please turn out and vote for Suzanne Atwell for Sarasota City Commissioner

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 21:30:00 +0000

It is interesting to me how excited people get over national elections, yet they tend to ignore a local race. Let me point out that your vote really matters in the race for Sarasota City Commission. Less than twenty percent of eligible voters are expected to cast their ballot on or before Tuesday, April 14th. The race is likely to be decided by some very close margins. The new city commissioners will be making decisions that directly impact your life on issues like traffic, neighborhoods, businesses and the environment.

I am asking you to please turn out and vote for Suzanne Atwell. I have known Suzanne for many years, mostly because she is already very active in local civic groups. Suzanne has dedicated her life in Sarasota to improving conditions for all of our citizens. She is also smart, friendly and someone you enjoy serving alongside on a committee. I know that if Suzanne is elected, we will have someone on the commission who will really listen to our concerns, and who will work well with others to solve problems. Please join me on Tuesday, April 14 and vote for Suzanne Atwell for the Sarasota City Commission.

Results: City Commission and Charter Amendment 3/11/09

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 01:01:00 +0000

27 of 27 Precincts Reporting
Percent Votes
Suzanne Atwell 17.04% 2,146
Jay Berman 4.96% 624
Paul Caragiulo 19.29% 2,429
Rick Farmer 8.51% 1,071
Robin Harrington 8.32% 1,047
Ray E. McKinon 2.34% 295
Ken Shelin 15.38% 1,937
Pete Theisen 1.72% 217
Terry Turner 22.44% 2,825
27 of 27 Precincts Reporting
Percent Votes
YES 35.20% 2,393
NO 64.80% 4,406

Report on the "Embrace Change Banquet and Dance"

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 15:59:00 +0000


Regina and I joined about 300 of our friends last evening at the Newtown Estates gym for Sarasota's version of an inaugural ball. A large, original portrait of the new First Family was part of the decorations, and people came dressed to impress. The evening began with beautiful renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Perhaps the only misstep was the reading of the President elect's acceptance speech from the Democratic National Convention, as this was one of his longest and most partisan speeches from the campaign trail. I felt for the young lady reading the policy pronouncements, and for the hungry attendees. This was followed by two very nice interpretive dances and a heartfelt prayer before the buffet lines opened. Folks assembled in an orderly manner to feast on ham, turkey, rice, green beans and pasta salad.

As dinner continued, speakers such as civil rights legends John Rivers and Dorothye Smith reflected on Sarasota's history and progress in race relations. City Commissioner Kelly Kirschner read a proclamation in honor of the inauguration. Then my friend Valerie Bouchard concluded the ceremony with a passionate and moving invocation to the Almighty. About half the crowd stayed for dancing. The DJ kicked off with half a dozen line dance favorites before moving into favorites such as "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead. I was out for about six numbers but Regina easily doubled my efforts. We came home full, happy and excited at around 11:30 p.m., and will return to the gym tomorrow morning to kick of the Martin Luther King holiday with breakfast.

Remarks upon receiving the Duisberg Peace and Justice Award

Fri, 02 Jan 2009 00:14:00 +0000

I want to thank everyone for this tremendous honor. Believe me, it is not false modesty when I say that I feel unworthy of this recognition. As many of you know, I just finished an unsuccessful campaign for public office. The best part of campaigning is the people that you meet. And it was just about a year ago that I met Peter Duisberg for the first time. Since then I have had about a dozen contacts with Peter, and on every occasion that we speak he expresses to me the absolute imperative of Peace. I don’t think that I have met anyone more tireless or committed to this cause in my life. And though I never had the opportunity to meet Annabelle, I will always be grateful for this day and for the opportunity to share the Duisberg name. And I hope that this award will inspire me to speak out ever more forcefully for the causes of Peace and Justice. About 20 years ago I had the chance to travel to the island of Jamaica, and while I was there, I had a chance to have a conversation with an elderly Rastafarian man. He described me to the struggles of the Jamaican people who felt oppressed by their government. At the end of our talk, I said to him, “I wish you Peace.” When I said this, his eyes became fiery and he replied: “There can be no Peace without Justice.” I have been reminded of his words many times over the years, for instance I have seen protests when a citizen has been killed by the police and the demonstrators chant, “No Justice, No Peace.” And throughout the troubled world that we live in today, and as we celebrate World Peace Day this New Year, it seems to me the concepts of Peace and Justice are forever dependent upon one another.When we say the word, Peace, I think we all have an idea of the concept that is involved. But the word Justice is one whose meaning is determined by the context of the moment and the passions of the speaker. We hear that criminals must be brought to justice, we conduct our trials at the Justice Centers, we describe a religion as being active in the field of social justice, and we hear that justice was or was not served in a particular case.I think the best one word definition of justice is balance. Therefore we strive for balance between the individual citizen and the government, when we say that an offender must pay for his crime it is because we want to bring balance to the harm suffered by the victim, and when we speak of social justice we are attempting to balance the needs of the rich and the poor, the prominent and the destitute. But when we look at our present criminal justice system, it is apparent that things are terribly out of balance. On the national level, the United States now has two million, three hundred thousand of its citizen behind bars, a far higher percentage of its population than any other nation on earth. Here in the State of Florida, our prison population recently passed the 100,000 mark. And just a mile or two west of we are this morning, the Sarasota County Jail has more then a thousand of our sons and daughter, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, locked up as we enter the New Year. Now in addition to the human tragedy of having so many people behind bars, there is all of the resources we are devoting towards maintaining this prison industrial complex. For our present fiscal year here in the State of Florida, we will spend nearly Three Billion dollars solely on prisons, and we will spend over one hundred million dollars to continue to pursue a deeply flawed death penalty in a handful of cases. This is money that will not be spent on our childrens education or health-care, money not spent to care for our sick and elderly, money not spend to preserve our precious natural environment. And even though our Legislature has appropriated over 400 million dollars to open new prison beds in this coming year, it has simultaneously forced the Department of Corrections to eliminate inmate educational and drug treatment programs that have proven[...]

Well, I Lost

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 13:54:00 +0000

After a year-long campaign, I am coming to terms with the fact that I will not serve as the Public Defender for the 12th Judicial Circuit. I congratulate Larry Eger on his victory and I wish him and the office well. I won't lie, it was a very tough week, and perhaps I will write more about that in the future. At this point I want to thank everyone who played a role in my campaign. As soon as you start naming people you run the risk of forgetting somebody important. But for starters, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me. I received 5,132 votes in DeSoto County, 65,345 votes in Manatee County, and 97,052 votes in Sarasota County. I very much appreciate the trust and confidence that I received from these voters. Several hundred people also made financial contributions to my campaign. Whether you contributed five dollars or five hundred dollars, I really appreciate this tangible show of support.

I would like to thank the Democratic Executive Committees in DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties for all of the assistance you provided. I also want to thank the North Port Democratic Club, the Venice Democratic Club, the Englewood Democratic Club, the Sarasota Democratic Club, the Manatee Sarasota Black Caucus, the Longboat Key Democratic Club, the Island Democratic Club, the Southeast Manatee Democratic Club, the North River Democratic Club, and the Manatee Democratic Women's Club for all of the opportunities, volunteers, financial support and encouragement that you provided. I have many fond memories of all of the wonderful people that I encountered along the campaign trail and I hope to continue to see you all.

In particular, I must thank my treasurer Dottie Markley-Blizman. I don't think she had any idea of what a big job she was in for when she volunteered. Thank you also to Luis Trujillo, my outstanding graphics designer, for all of your patience and talent. And thanks to Colin Boyle, Lowell Gilbertson and Laura Gilkey for your assistance with my web page and internet campaign. Most of all, I must thank my wife, Regina Tebrugge, who gathered petitions, dug post-holes, stuffed envelopes, waved at cars, solicited voters and put up with my mood swings during the campaign.

As for my future the crystal ball is a bit cloudy. I hope to continue writing and perhaps will consolidate all of my blogs, this one, Homeless in Sarasota-Bradenton, and Sarasota Criminal Justice Reform. I will also continue to host my television program, "Law and Sarasota' at least for the near future. Regina and I are frugal and debt free and so I can stay retired from practicing law if I so choose. While I am disappointed at how the last chapter in my life concluded, I look forward to next one, whatever it may be.

Public Defender's Race as of Wednesday Morning

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 11:48:00 +0000

(may not include absentee or provisional ballots)

Public Defender
Circuit 12

Larry Eger Adam Tebrugge

Desoto 4,228 5,131
Manatee 51,121 43,916
Sarasota 91,658 96,841
Total 147,007 145,888

% Votes 50.2% 49.8%

This November Please Remember

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 17:13:00 +0000

The long campaign is drawing to a close. A little over a year ago, I announced that I was running to be elected Public Defender for the 12th Judicial Circuit. I have traveled from Ellenton to Englewood and from Arcadia to Anna Maria Island. In fact, I was in Arcadia this morning greeting early voters in DeSoto County. My main message has been to describe the historic role of the Public Defender's Office and to request support solely based upon my qualifications for the job. Last week, over 300 people celebrated the legacy of Elliott Metcalfe, our present Public Defender, who has served this area for thirty-two years. Elliott provided leadership in the courtroom and the community. I am the candidate best positioned to continue this legacy.

My opponent, Larry Eger, is a friend of mine, but his message is entirely different. Larry sees the job only as that of an office manager. Although he stresses his administrative experience, during his tenure as assistant public defender, he has made no budgetary or employment decisions; these have all been the sole responsibility of Mr. Metcalfe. Larry, the nominee of the Republican party, successfully enlisted the endorsements of other elected Republicans, including the State Attorney and former sheriff Charlie Wells. He is now using these endorsements to pound a "law and order" message in television ads that ignore the mission of the office. Perhaps he believes that these ads will fool enough voters to propel him to victory, and maybe he is right. But do we really want to elect a Public Defender who is willing to mislead the electorate about the duties and responsibilities of the office he seeks to hold? Our responsibility is to provide high quality, cost effective legal representation to indigent citizens who are in jail or facing jail. What message is Larry sending to our clients?

In addition to the law and order message, Larry is running an e-mail ad that says "Experience Matters." I couldn't agree more, which is why I am asking for your vote. While Larry and I worked together for over twenty years, I was the only one who took the extra steps to become qualified to handle the death penalty cases in this area, and I performed this job with professionalism for over a decade. I am the one who took the extra steps to become board certified as a criminal trial attorney, which means that I can hold myself out as an expert in the field. And I have conducted legal training seminars across the State of Florida. For ten years I helped organize and teach the death penalty seminar that attorneys had to take to become qualified to handle those cases. But I also trained the young attorneys, fresh out of law school, and taught them how to investigate cases, question witnesses and introduce evidence.

As your Public Defender, I will work hard every day to build a world class office with an emphasis on professionalism. So this November, please remember, vote Adam Tebrugge, for Public Defender.

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I Am Asking for Your Vote

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 01:57:00 +0000


Yesterday, October 20th, I went to all of the early voting locations in Sarasota County. At several places I witnessed long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots. After you vote for President and Congress, the next vote you will be faced with in DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, is for the Office of Public Defender. In Florida, the Public Defender is a constitutional office responsible for providing legal representation to indigent citizens. There are four offices in this circuit; small offices in Arcadia and Venice, and large offices in Bradenton and Sarasota. The attorneys of the Public Defender's Office defend thousands of cases each year.

After serving as an Assistant Public Defender for 23 years, I am now asking for your vote to become your elected Public Defender. In addition to running the office, hiring the staff, and managing the budget, I believe that the elected Public Defender must provide leadership in our local criminal justice system and in the communities that make up the circuit. I have developed relationships with every elected county commissioner throughout the three county area. These relationships mean that I will bring credibility to issues like jail overcrowding, early case resolution, and continued development of alternative sentencing programs like Drug Court and Mental Health Court.

I have also worked extensively with the Manatee and Sarasota branches of the NAACP and I am acutely aware of the problems of our poor areas in each county. Presently I am serving on the Board of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness and we are working on discharge planning from the jails to reduce recidivism. I have conducted my campaign by visiting neighborhood and civic associations throughout the region in order to hear citizen feedback on criminal justice issues. With my extensive experience in the courtroom and the community, I believe that I am uniquely positioned to make a positive contribution to our justice system.

I would respectfully request your vote when you cast your ballot for Public Defender.

Teaching and Training and Professionalism

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 10:27:00 +0000


Courtroom work is exhilarating and intense and requires hours of preparation. There is a unique skill set behind properly questioning witnesses, arguing points of law to the court, or persuading a jury to carefully examine the prosecution’s case. An experienced trial attorney can then mentor a younger attorney and teach them the legal ropes, but must also emphasize the concept of professionalism. In the practice of law we must always strive to emphasize ethical principles while vigorously defending our clients. Mentoring is necessary to teach a young attorney how to achieve this balance. My mentor was Jim Slater, an outstanding attorney and a true gentleman. Nobody worked harder than Jim to prepare a case, and no one was more widely respected for his behavior and his skill inside the courtroom.

Jim got me involved in the training of other attorneys. As a member (and later chair) of the Florida Public Defender’s death penalty steering committee, Jim was responsible for training attorneys to properly handle capital cases. In the early 1990’s, Jim asked me to work with him on the annual conference. I was responsible for kicking of the three-day seminar by presenting a comprehensive overview of Florida law and best practices. I found I had a natural affinity for teaching and I began to take any opportunity that was presented. Over the years, I have presented lectures or taught classes to lawyers, high school and college students, church and civic groups, and television audiences.

One of my favorite experiences was teaching Public Defender College. Law Schools train attorneys how to think about law, not how to conduct a jury trial. Public Defender Offices frequently hire young attorneys fresh out of law school. These attorneys must be trained in courtroom procedures as well as proper courtroom behavior. Popular television programs frequently glamorize flamboyant or outrageous tactics, but these are rarely successful in Florida courtrooms. In my experience, a jury can only be persuaded if they trust the source of the information. I train lawyers to be prepared, polite and to the point. A lawyer who develops a reputation for these skills will also be the most successful courtroom advocate for his or her clients.

Be sure to watch the SNN debate between Larry Eger and myself that will be broadcast this Wednesday, October 15th, at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 6 in Sarasota.

I make my case in the Bradenton Herald

Thu, 09 Oct 2008 20:14:00 +0000

The Bradenton Herald is allowing candidates to publish a 500 word piece on why they should be elected. Here is what I submitted on behalf of my campaign to be elected your Public Defender.

In a Panama City courtroom in 1961, Clarence Gideon asked the judge to appoint him an attorney because he was too poor to hire one. The judge denied his request, Gideon had to represent himself, and he was found guilty and sentenced to prison. From his cell he sent a handwritten letter to the United States Supreme Court that changed the course of history. In 1963, that court unanimously ruled that poor defendants must be provided attorneys in criminal cases.

I discovered Gideon's story while attending New College, and decided I wanted to work at the Public Defender's Office. I excelled at the Florida State University College of Law and could have taken almost any private position in the State of Florida. But for the last 23 years, I have dedicated my career to providing high quality, cost effective representation to our poorest citizens.

This November, you will elect the next Public Defender of the 12th Judicial Circuit (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties). When you cast your vote in this election, please remember:

I am the only candidate who is qualified to prepare, litigate and supervise death penalty cases. These are the most complex and expensive cases in the system. Without a qualified attorney, a case might be overturned on appeal at great cost, or worse yet, result in wrongful conviction or execution.
I am the only candidate who is a board certified criminal trial attorney. This means I have tried enough cases, received recommendations from judges and other attorneys, and passed a difficult examination, qualifying me as a specialist in criminal law.
I am the only candidate with extensive experience training attorneys throughout the State of Florida. I have taught Public Defender College for lawyers fresh out of law school, and have conducted death penalty training for today's most experienced attorneys.
I am the only candidate who received the NAACP Freedom Award for Public Service, and the Jim Slater award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law.

My campaign message is "making justice work." I will do this by accomplishing specific goals during my term in office:

I will improve the quality of legal representation through enhanced training of our attorneys;
I will focus our staff on jail issues and seek early resolution of undisputed cases;
I will work with our Judges and the Clerk of the Courts to improve the administration of justice and ensure representation of only the truly indigent;
I will closely monitor costs to make better use of available funds, and be a voice for common sense on local criminal justice issues.
I believe that our Public Defender must provide leadership in the courtrooms and in the community. I have devoted my entire professional life to the Public Defender's Office and have worked hard to establish a solid record of preparation and professionalism. Now I need your help. "This November, Please Remember, Vote Adam Tebrugge, for Public Defender." For more information, please visit my website at

Public Defender Debates

Mon, 06 Oct 2008 18:17:00 +0000


I debated my opponent Larry Eger three times within twenty-fours last week. On Tuesday, September 30, we arrived at the Bradenton Kiwanis expecting to make brief after-lunch remarks. I think we were both surprised to see lights, television cameras, timekeepers and formal questions. I really enjoyed this opportunity and Manatee Educational Television will be rebroadcasting this debate frequently between now and election day. METV can be found on Bright House channel 614 (Manatee County), Verizon channel 31 (Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties), or you can watch the debate on the web at where you can also find a schedule. For instance, the debate will be shown this Sunday, October 12 at 9:00 a.m.

The next morning Larry and I met up at the League of Women Voter's where we answered questions in front of about fifty people. As you can see from the photo above, Larry and I remain friendly and the debate was cordial and included a wide ranging discussion of our qualifications and vision for the Public Defender's Office. We then raced over to the SNN studio for our televised debate that will be shown on October 15 at 7:00 p.m on Comcast channel 6. Unfortunately we do not have many joint candidate appearances scheduled between now and election day so if you are interested you will have to try and catch one of the television broadcasts.

During the debates I am stressing my experience handling death penalty cases. These cases are the most complex and expensive and important in our criminal justice system. The Florida Supreme Court has established a list of qualifications that an attorney must meet before they are allowed to handle a death penalty case. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.112 says: "Counsel in death penalty cases should be required to perform at the level of an attorney reasonably skilled in the specialized practice of capital representation, zealously committed to the capital case, who has had adequate time and resources for preparation." The rule then sets out a variety of standards that an attorney must meet before being allowed to handle a death penalty case. I am the only candidate running for Public Defender who meets these qualifications.

A Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 12:08:00 +0000


In 1999, I became a board certified criminal trial attorney in the Florida Bar. Board certification means that I can hold myself out as an expert or specialist in the field of criminal law. To achieve certification. I had to show that I had handled at least 25 criminal trials, submit references from judges and fellow attorneys, and pass a difficult examination designed to test the breadth and depth of your knowledge of criminal law. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the area of law approved for certification. I took the extra step to be come board certified because I wanted my clients at the Public Defender's Office to have confidence that their attorney was top notch. When choosing your next elected Public Defender, I believe that you should vote for the only candidate who can demonstrate this extra level of competence in the field.

It was another great week of campaigning in Venice, Sarasota and Bradenton. Bob Sweat, Supervisor of Elections in Manatee County, spoke at the Bar Association lunch and gave a detailed overview of his work year. Representative Keith Fitzgerald continues to impress audiences in Sarasota and Venice with his detailed understanding of state government. WSLR held a musical beach picnic on Siesta Key that attracted a big crowd of fans. The Venice Jazz festival drew hundreds of people to Blalock Park on a warm Saturday afternoon. Riverview overpowered my Booker Tornadoes in the fourth quarter before thousands of people on a beautiful Friday night. The residents of Bay Village turned out to hear the Democratic candidates give their vision for the future. Joan Donnelly in Sarasota, and Lucille Burke in Bradenton hosted lovely receptions for my campaign. And I was at all of these places, trying to meet every last voter, especially since absentee ballots have already been mailed.

This week features several debates between myself and my opponent for Public Defender, Larry Eger. We will be at the Bradenton Kiwanis club at lunch on Tuesday, at the League of Women Voters "Food for Thought" on Wednesday morning, and then tape our television debate for local news channel SNN. I also have several receptions and fundraisers planned for the week, and in our spare time Regina and I might put up another sign or two. It is hard to believe that there are just 36 days until the election. Hopefully I will see you soon!

Watch Adam Tebrugge on Voice For Democracy

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:29:00 +0000

On Sunday, September 28, channel 21 (Comcast) at 9:00 p.m., Adam Tebrugge, Democratic candidate for Public Defender, will be interviewed on the program " "Voice for Democracy." Adam discusses the history and mission of the Public Defender's Office, his legal career in Sarasota, and his goals for improving our local criminal justice system. Please help get the word out to others to watch "Voice for Democracy" this Sunday night.

Senator Bill Nelson in Sarasota

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 12:55:00 +0000


Senator Bill Nelson has made several trips to Sarasota recently to support local Democratic candidates and address citizens about pending issues. Last Friday, the Senator was here to support Morgan Bentley's campaign for the Florida State Senate. Nelson had just gotten off of a conference call with Treasury Secretary Paulson and members of Congress. He dispensed with the usual pleasantries and immediately began a detailed discussion of the country's financial crisis. In the picture above, you can see Tax Collector Barbara Ford Coates and Morgan Bentley listen intently as Senator Nelson described the circumstances that led the markets into this problem. Later that evening he went into even more detail at the Sarasota County Bar Association's annual dinner, creating a somewhat somber atmosphere in an otherwise festive evening. I could not really blame Senator Nelson for being in a grim mood and I was impressed with his grasp of detail and his willingness to work across the aisle to find solutions.

I also attended the kickoff luncheon for the South County United Way, and was reminded that need is greatest when crisis arrives. It was inspiring to see hundreds of service providers and employers from North Port, Venice, Nokomis and Laurel, joining together to help others. In Sarasota, we had an excellent event at the Bacalao sports bar on Tuttle and 17th where Latin-American voters were targeted. I also had the privilege of addressing the Southeast Manatee Democratic Club about my campaign. Regina and I are still putting up signs, and supporters are hosting meet and greets for me to help get out the word.

Look for another post in a day or so about some of my qualifications that set me apart in this race. As always, thanks for reading.

Public Defender Campaign Update

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 11:33:00 +0000


I hope that you have been following my campaign to be elected Public Defender of the 12th Judicial Circuit (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties). I believe that our Public Defender must provide leadership in the courtrooms and in the community. When you are deciding whom to support, please keep in mind:

--I am the only candidate who is qualified to prepare, litigate and supervise death penalty cases;

--I am the only candidate who is a board certified criminal trial attorney;

--I am the only candidate with experience training attorneys throughout the State of Florida;

--I am the only candidate who has received the Freedom Award for Public Service presented by the Sarasota branch of the NAACP, and the Jim Slater award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law.

I have devoted my entire professional life to the Public Defender's Office and to our community. Now I need your help to get elected. Would you please consider making a contribution to my campaign to help me tell others about my qualifications? You can go to my web-site right now, or mail a check to the Adam Tebrugge campaign, 2337 Ixora Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 34234. You can also forward this e-mail to anyone you think might be interested in my campaign. And finally, please tell your friends and neighbors and relatives:

"This November, Please Remember, Vote Adam Tebrugge, for Public Defender."

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this, and for all of your ongoing support.

Adam Tebrugge

Political Advertisement paid for and Approved by Adam Tebrugge, Democratic Candidate for Public Defender, 12th Circuit.

Happy Birthday Lyn Tebrugge

Mon, 08 Sep 2008 12:19:00 +0000


Today, September 8th, is my mother's birthday. Lyn Mary Cox Tebrugge grew up in Ft. Myers, Florida, the oldest daughter of Norman and Mimi Cox. Norman was a cattle rancher and gladiolus grower and a powerhouse personality. Lyn and her two sisters, Nancy and "Boo," have remained close over the years despite making their homes in different states.

Lyn graduated from the University of Florida and as a young woman, was given a column in the Tampa Tribune. While attending an art installation in Tampa, she met an architect by the name of George Tebrugge. They were married on December 31, 1960, and their son Norman Adam Tebrugge, was born on December 7, 1961. Caroline ("Kitty") McCrae entered the world on July 31, 1964. Recently Lyn had some of our old movies from this time transferred to a DVD. The films show a glamorous young mother dressed in sharp outfits from the early 60's tending to two well groomed children.

My mother helped instill in me my love of politics. One of my earliest memories is attending an appearance by the Republican nominee for president, Richard Nixon, when he came to Tampa in 1968. Suitably inspired, Lyn and I went door to door for Hubert Humphrey in that tumultuous year. Later she got me involved with Bob Shevin's campaign for Governor of Florida. Lyn remains well read and interested in her state and nation to this day and has recently been canvassing for Senator Obama.

My mother was also part of the large wave of women who re-entered the workforce in the 1970's. Motherhood was important to her but she also felt a drive to help others, primarily through education. Ultimately she found her perfect job at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she worked primarily with nontraditional students, helping them adjust to university life. When she retired a few years ago, a tree was planted in honor of "Mother U.S.F." in recognition of her many contributions. While at U.S.F., she became familiar with a small liberal arts college in Sarasota that had been taken over by the University after financial struggles. New College was still finding its way in the late 1970's but Lyn thought that the school was a good fit for her son, and so it was.

So Happy Birthday Mom!. Thank you for bringing me into the world, introducing me to politics and books, and getting me to Sarasota where I have spent so many good years. Lyn now lives in Tarpon Springs and volunteers at the spectacular Leepa-Ratna Museum of Art, located on the campus of St. Petersburg Junior College. The campaign has prevented us from seeing much of one another recently, but I wanted to express my love and honor for her on this special day.

My Goals For the Public Defender's Office

Thu, 04 Sep 2008 10:18:00 +0000

I was employed by our Public Defender’s Office for 23 years and had the opportunity to work extensively in our offices in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. I have a good understanding of the challenges of our local court system, and when I am elected, I will be making justice work by implementing the following:

---Improve training of attorneys in the office;
--Hire more Spanish speaking attorneys and staff;
--Improve and expedite representation of clients in jail;
--Implement discharge planning for sentenced inmates to reduce recidivism.

--Work with Judges and Clerk’s to ensure we only represent the truly indigent;
--Closely monitor costs to make better use of available funds;
--Foster positive employee relations in the office and with the community;
--Be a voice for common sense on local criminal justice issues.

What else would you like to see me focus on? What experiences have you had with the Public Defender's Office? Drop me a line at

In Wind and Rain and Sun

Mon, 01 Sep 2008 21:35:00 +0000


The Republican primary election was held in the Public Defender race for the 12th Judicial Circuit last Tuesday. Ron Filipkowski won DeSoto County (by two votes) and Sarasota County (by about 300 votes), but Larry Eger won Manatee County (by around 700 votes) and was finally declared the winner on Wednesday with a total margin of 425 votes). I congratulate Larry and I feel for Ron who worked very hard to secure the nomination.

Now that the primary is over I am happy to start getting my signs up and out in the community. This past weekend, friends volunteered to help us post signs in all three counties. Now you might recall that Hurricane Gustave was moving past the coast of Southwest Florida with associated bands of wind and rain. Regina and I were standing in mosquito infested fields, watching lightning streak the sky, digging muddy holes. We would occasionally pull down the sign of a candidate who lost last week and reflect and appreciate the effort that they put into running for office. After a full day on Saturday, we went out on Sunday to check our signs, only to find that the winds had snapped some of our 2 x 4s. We repaired the damaged poles and spent the afternoon in DeSoto county where we worked until twilight through the intermittent showers. I kept telling Regina that at least it wasn't broiling hot. She was a great wife to spend her weekend putting up signs with me and so I would like to say: "Regina I Love and Appreciate You!"

The other big news of the week revolved around the presidential campaign. The Obama team opened an office in Bradenton and a large crowd turned out to help. On Thursday night there were parties throughout the area to watch his acceptance speech and I decided to attend one at the Beach House on Bradenton Beach. About 150 Democrats turned out but wahat was really impressive was when other patrons of the restaurant decided to join the fun. I was able to capitalize on the excitement and meet a lot of new people, all of whom promised me they would vote.

The Manatee County NAACP had postponed their banquet due to Tropical Storm Fay but it still turned out to be a tremendous success. The attendance was great, the food was good, and the speeches and awards were inspirational. I also enjoyed participating in the Englewood Pioneer Day parade and the Palmetto Labor Day picnic. Thank you for your continued support and be sure to keep checking in as I begin to discuss the issues in this race.

My Primary Complaint

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:51:00 +0000


Over the past two days, more than a dozen people have asked me whether I dropped out of the Public Defender’s race. The answer is a resounding “NO!” Why are people asking this question? Tomorrow, August 26, is the primary election in the great State of Florida. Among the races that will be determined is the Republican nomination for the Office of Public Defender. Now by reading the local papers recently, it would be understandable if you thought that whoever prevails would have won the entire election. Unfortunately, the combination of headlines, signs, and advertising can leave you with that impression, ignoring the fact that I am the Democratic Party’s nominee. Let me assure you, I am in this race to win, and assuming that Tropical Storm Gustav stays away, we will start getting my signs up this weekend. With my opponent finally determined, I can now take the Public Defender race to the next level. I pledge, however, to run a positive campaign focused on my qualifications for the job.

Last week was a mixed bag thanks to the damper that tropical storm Fay threatened us with early in the week. I had three major events scheduled for Tuesday and they were all canceled. However, Senator Bill Nelson was able to make it to Bradenton on Wednesday and I was glad to hear him speak out forcefully against offshore drilling. My friends Elsa and Lenny Lentz threw a lovely reception for Florida House candidate Richard Jackson and myself that night. On Thursday evening, Manatee Glens invited their employees to meet the candidates, and about 150 of them turned out. Later that night I went to Cerviche to speak to a large and enthusiastic group of Young Democrats. On Friday night we had a great barbecue and rally in Newtown. And on Saturday Regina and I enjoyed celebrating the anniversary of women getting the right to vote at the Equity Day luncheon in Bradenton, before heading to the Venice YMCA to eat and drink at the annual luau.

While I am going to continue writing about some of the fun events we attend, I am also going to focus on the issues and differences between myself and my opponent (whoever that turns out to be). I am looking for help as we get into the final two months, so please keep up with the campaign on my web-page at, or at my Facebook group, Adam Tebrugge for Public Defender.

An Inspiration to us all

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 12:02:00 +0000


Dr. Kay Glasser continues to demonstrate the positive influence that one person can have upon an entire community. Last week she was one of the honorees at the Community Youth Development breakfast. CYD is a program designed to provide leadership training to our high school students and then allow them to put that training to work. Participating students can ultimately serve on the Board of Directors of area non-profits, providing valuable insights to the other members, while preparing themselves for future service. In her remarks, Dr. Glasser reflected upon her career of social service and volunteer activities. She described a formative experience she had with a mentor when she was a young woman, and how this inspired her to a lifetime of helping others. Her words resonated throughout the gym at the Boys and Girls Club in Sarasota, providing similar inspiration to both young and old in the audience.

Also on the agenda last week were a series of debates and joint candidate appearances in the Public Defender race. I appeared with one or both of my opponents at the West Manatee Rotary Club, Heron Creek Country Club in North Port, the Sarasota County Bar Association, and at Kaiser University at Lakewood Ranch. I fielded a variety of questions about the office and my qualifications that were thoughtful and challenging. Some of the toughest questions were posed at a forum sponsored by the NAACP youth council. The moderator, Ed James, and the rest of the council, had obviously worked hard to identify some of the pressing issues in each race. Unfortunately neither of my opponents joined me for that forum but I was grateful for the opportunity.

Tropical storm Fay may have fizzled but she still managed to cancel some of the events I was looking forward to this week. Today all the candidates were supposed to meet the employees of Sarasota Memorial Hospital and tonight was the Manatee NAACP banquet; both have been postponed. At least I didn't have to worry about my signs being launched by gale force winds as we are not putting them up until next weekend. Maybe this will be our only brush with hurricane season this year or at least I hope so! The campaign will provide enough excitement for the next few weeks as we push on to the finish line.

I Said Goodbye to my Dog Today

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 12:56:00 +0000


Grendel came into my life about ten years ago. She had been adopted from the pound by my step-son's girlfriend. They all moved in around the corner from us, and lived together three or four years. Grendel would roam the neighborhood, visiting different dogs and people from house to house. She was a frequent visitor to our home where her face would suddenly appear at our back door. She got along with our miniature dachshund, Nicki, and tolerated Georgie the cat. When her parents broke up and were not in a position to take care of her any longer, it was only natural that Regina and I would adopt her.

The first challenge was converting her from a street dog to a house dog. I was not about to allow her to roam free, as she was used to, so this meant long walks for us both. For several years we dominated our Indian Beach neighborhood in the early mornings and evenings. Grendel was a great dog to walk. She was purposeful and focused and kept a steady and limitless pace. Putting her on a leash seemed to make her more aggressive towards other dogs. Regina described her as an alpha dog and it was true that Grendel knew she was queen of the neighborhood.

Nicki died last February and not long afterwards Grendel began showing declining interest in longer walks. Soon it was apparent that she was having hip and leg problems. I met Dr. Mauricio Vargas of All Pets Mobile Clinic when I campaigned at Conexion Latina. Dr. Vargas began working with Grendel and she rallied a bit but her overall path was downhill. Folks say that you will know when it is time to put your dog down, and by this past weekend, it had become clear to me. Regina said goodbye before she left for work, stroking her head and promising her she would run free in the sky. I helped Grendel up and out into the sun where she lay for a half hour in a state of doggie contentment.

Later, Dr. Vargas came by and then took her away when she was gone. He was very kind and sympathetic and treated us both well. I now have no dog in the house for the first time in years and Georgie the cat is not much one for walking on a leash. Grendel joins the litany of Nicki and Frieda and Ralph and Crystal and all my other pets who have gone on before her.

I offer the only epitaph that is fitting for her: "She was a good dog."

A Day in DeSoto County

Mon, 11 Aug 2008 13:51:00 +0000


I am running to be the elected Public Defender of a three-county area: Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto. I grew up in Tampa and my grandparents lived in Fort Myers. For some reason we would always travel through Arcadia, the DeSoto County seat, and stop for an orange Fanta in town. Even as a child, the majestic courthouse made quite an impression upon me. Over the course of my career, I have been privileged to handle many cases in that courthouse. Judge Parker, Judge Hall, and the Clerk of the Court Mitzy McGavic have always treated me with courtesy and respect. Jurors in DeSoto are a great mix of ranchers, retirees, working folks, and people of all races, ages and beliefs. I really enjoy practicing law in DeSoto County.

I also like campaigning there. This past Saturday was the big political rally that had been planned for some time. I arrived in town early so that I could have breakfast at Wheeler's cafe which is owned by one of the candidates for Sheriff, Carl Willey. Carl is running against Will Wise and the incumbent Sheriff, Vernon Kean, in the Democratic primary. While this is the hottest race going, all of the candidates have conducted themselves in a civl manner as far as I can tell. There are also a couple of closely contested County Commission races as well.

The rally was scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and at about 9:45 the skies opened up, the rain fell sideways, and lightning began crashing around the fairgrounds. After about a half hour though, it let up enough for people to start arriving and for the candidates to set up their tables. Ultimately there were nearly 200 people that braved the elements to come talk politics. The crowd responded positively to all the speeches and cheered their favorites with gusto. Afterwards I had lunch at Slim's barbecue and picked up three bottles of sauce for Regina, before heading home.

The rally culminated a busy and productive week. National Night Out Against Crime drew big crowds in North Port and in Sarasota and I was fortunate to attend both events. Jefferson Apartments, a beautiful building for lower income seniors near my house, hosted a great candidate debate for Sarasota County Commission that they graciously allowed me to crash. And I had an interesting debate with my opponents at the Manatee County Commission chambers that will be broadcast on METV over the next couple of weeks. We have several additional debates this week, and I will be at the NAACP youth forum for candidates on Saturday afternoon.

Thank You Beneva Flowers!

Tue, 05 Aug 2008 15:28:00 +0000


Yesterday was a low energy day. My dog is on her last legs, I was tired from campaigning all weekend, and I was paying bills. The phone rang and a very pleasant lady told me that her boss wanted to send me flowers. Turns out the business section of the Sarasota Herald Tribune had noted that I had won the Jim Slater award for professionalism in the practice of criminal law. I had completely missed the blurb when I read the paper in the morning, but Mr. Arthur Conforti had not. A few minutes ago the delivery man showed up with my flowers, and I decided to share them with you.

Thank you Beneva Flowers! You just made my day.

The Promise of Our Youth

Mon, 04 Aug 2008 16:20:00 +0000


Early in the week, I had a conversation with a voter. He asked a common question, “Why would you want to be Public Defender.” One of his points was that the youth of today are disrespectful, if not dangerous, and probably made up a great deal of our clients. He assumed that the work must be frustrating and perhaps counter-productive to our shared goal of creating a safe society.

On the other side of the ledger, I was privileged to experience portions of the “Greatness Beyond Measure” teen summit held in Sarasota this weekend. On Saturday night, I was a judge at a debate contest as ten teenagers addressed racial, gender and age stereotypes head-on. A crowd of over 100 mostly young people sat in the audience, fully engaged in the exchange of ideas on stage. The next day an even larger crowd gathered at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for Gospel music, performances, and hot dogs. Spending time with these fine young men and women, primarily African-Americans, was just the antidote I needed to combat cynicism.

The rest of the week was inspiring as well. The Sun-House Restaurant on Bradenton Beach hosted a very enjoyable fundraiser to benefit the Manatee Red Cross. I won Chef Darryl’s cooking jacket in the silent auction. Also fun was the Selby Library’s 10th birthday bash on Saturday afternoon. In attendance were numerous families, Mote Marine, the Humane Society, and Marie Selby as portrayed by a wonderful actress. And I even took a day off to go fishing with my stepdaughter and her boyfriend. We hit a small school of jacks and of course had to have a photo memorializing out catch.

As busy as it has been, the next few weeks will be even crazier. You can come out and meet me between August 5-9 at any of the following. On Tuesday, August 5, I will attend the North Port Chamber of Commerce candidate mixer at the Olde World Restaurant, then head over to North Port High School for "National Night Out." On Wednesday, August 6, I will debate the other candidates in my race at the Manatee County Commission chambers at 6:30 p.m. Watch for later broadcasts on Manatee Educational Television. Thursday, August 7, I will attend the League of Women Voter's candidate fair at the Gulf Gate Library in Sarasota from 6-9 pm. Friday, August 8 I'll see you at the Sarasota Slam street party on Lemon Avenue in the evening. And finally, on Saturday, August 9, there will be a rally for all Democratic candidates at the DeSoto County fairgrounds, beginning at 10 a.m.