All 3 deputy county attorneys seeking to replace Elbrecht after his retirement

Tentative schedule calls for County Commission to discuss candidates during regular meeting on April 25

Editor’s note: This article was updated early in the morning of April 7 to correct the title of Steve Botelho, who is one of the county’s administrative staff members.

All three deputy Sarasota County attorneys have thrown their figurative hats in the ring for consideration as replacements for retiring County Attorney Frederick “Rick” Elbrecht, The Sarasota News Leader has learned.

Elbrecht’s last day will be June 9, as noted in a March 10 memo that County Administrator Jonathan Lewis sent the county commissioners. He has been with the Office of the County Attorney for 18 years, serving as county attorney since April 1, 2019, his county biography says.

Based on direction the commissioners had provided him and Elbrecht during their regular meeting on March 7, Lewis added in the memo, any members of the Office of the County Attorney interested in taking Elbrecht’s place were to submit a cover letter and resume. Lewis proposed that the deadline for that action be “close of business” on March 21.

During the regular County Commission meeting on March 21, Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Steve Botelho, who was sitting in for Lewis, referenced that memo and sought certainty that the board members were comfortable with the process Lewis had proposed.

No commissioner voiced an objection to the plans.

Lewis also had proposed in the memo that, following their interviews with the candidates for county attorney, the commissioners could discuss the applicants during their regular meeting on April 25.

Botelho pointed out on March 21 that time had been set aside in each commissioner’s schedule for the last week of March to meet one-on-one with the applicants.

When Chair Ron Cutsinger asked whether anyone had any questions at that time, no one did.

Through the response to a public records request, the News Leader learned that Chief Deputy County Attorney Karl Senkow, along with Deputy County Attorneys Aleksandr Boksner and Joshua Moye, had submitted letters to board Chair Ron Cutsinger by the March 21 deadline.

Karl Senkow

Senkow has the longest tenure with the county: 17 years he pointed out in his letter.

Further, Senkow explained that as chief deputy county attorney, “I assist the County Attorney in the overall operation of the office and provide full legal support to the [commission].”

He also noted that he serves as the “transactional group leader” for the Office of the County Attorney, in which capacity he guides and collaborates with his colleagues in that group “on the numerous transactions necessary to carry out County government operations in accordance with the Board’s direction.”

Those transactional services, he explained, involve the drafting of ordinances and resolutions for County Commission adoption, county revenues, bonds, real estate, procurement, intergovernmental agreements, and public-private partnerships.

He further pointed out that he has represented the county “in a wide range of litigation including eminent domain, real property disputes, tort and civil rights before the Florida State and Federal Courts.”

“My unique legal practice,” Senkow added, “combined with my leadership experience and institutional knowledge has prepared me to serve as the next County Attorney and continue the delivery of exceptional legal services to the Board and the county constitutional officers.”

Among those constitutional officers are Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner and Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates.

In his resume, Senkow noted that he joined the Office of the County Attorney in September 2002 and remained on staff until November 2003. He returned to that office in February 2007 and continued working as an assistant county attorney until October 2018, when he was named deputy county attorney. Then, in December 2019, Senkow noted, he was named chief deputy county attorney.

During stints with other organizations, his resume said, he was an associate attorney with Porges, Hamlin, Knowles, Prouty, in Bradenton, from December 2006 to February 2007. Prior to that — from August 2004 to December 2006 — he was an assistant state attorney with the 12th Judicial Circuit. He also has worked as an attorney for the 12th Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem Program.

Senkow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology, which he earned with honors from the University of Florida in 2003, he pointed out. He received his law degree from the Stetson University College of Law, with magna cum laude distinction.

Aleksandr Boksner

In his cover letter, Boksner wrote that he provides legal counsel to the commissioners, the sheriff, the clerk of the Circuit Court and county comptroller, County Administration “and the various County Departments on legal matters or issues pertaining to Federal and state litigation, labor and employment or other legal matters that may impact the governmental functions” of the county.

Prior to joining the Office of the County Attorney in 2022, he pointed out, he served as chief deputy city attorney for Miami Beach, where he “was responsible for overseeing and supervising the 23 employees of the Office of the City Attorney, the preparation of the Office’s yearly budget, and various other management functions …”

Additionally, he wrote, “I provided legal counsel to the Mayor and City Commissioners, the City Administration, and the various City Departments on a broad spectrum of legal issues impacting or involving the City of Miami Beach. More specifically,” Boksner continued, “I was responsible for those matters that involved the City’s federal and state litigation, governmental business operations in all respects, land use interpretation, drafting and litigation, statutory implementation, application and procedures, labor and employment, and many other numerous legal matters that directly or indirectly impacted the governmental functions of the City of Miami Beach.”

Altogether, he added, he has “22 years of legal knowledge representing Counties, Cities and Towns, coupled with [his] extensive legal experience in local government law and those necessary skills that were obtained in the management of a high-intensity government legal office …” Those skills, he noted, “would certainly make me the ideal candidate for this excellent position.”

Boksner pointed out that he earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 and his law degree, in 2001, from the University of Toledo College of Law in Ohio.

Joshua Moye

Having been an attorney for 16-and-a-half years, Moye wrote in his cover letter that he has “gained invaluable knowledge during [his] time working for Sarasota County. Not only am I keenly aware of the Board’s on-going issues and concerns, but I am also intimately knowledgeable on how Sarasota County operates.”

His resume says he has been a member of the Office of the County Attorney since January 2018. Prior to that — from July 2012 to January 2018 — he served as assistant county attorney in the Charlotte County Attorney’s Office. Additionally, he was assistant general counsel and senior attorney with the Florida Elections Commission, through the Office of the Attorney General, from January 2010 to July 2012.

His resume also notes stints with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (December 2007 to January 2010) and the state’s Construction Industry Licensing Board (October 2006 to December 2007).
He added in his cover letter, “I understand the Board’s preferred roles that the County Administration and the Office of the County Attorney play in the implementation of Board policy and the pursuit of the Board’s overall goals.”

During their evaluations of the county administrator and the county attorney over the years, commissioners have underscored the fact that they do not want people in those positions who try to prod them into setting policies — or, as the late Commissioner Nancy Detert put it — acting like a sixth commissioner.

Moye also explained in his cover letter that he leads “the Office of the County Attorney’s Land Use Group and [sits] as an attorney-advisor to the Board and Planning Commission. While my current specialty is handling and advising on land use matters, complex transactional projects, and complex land use and eminent domain litigation settlements,” he continued, “I also have direct experience handling and advising governmental entities on litigation and other County matters.”
Moye noted that he earned board certification from the Florida Bar in city, county and local government law.

Further, Moye wrote, that he has “enjoyed developing relationships with [the commissioners] and all levels of County staff, including County Administration, department directors, and division managers.”

Moye’s resume says he earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology, with a minor in criminal justice, in 2002 from the University of Central Florida. He earned his law degree in 2006 from the Florida State University College of Law.