Get to know Bruce Bartlett
Bruce is a native Floridian, born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. He went to Pinellas public schools, received an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida, and received his law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Bruce began working as an Assistant State Attorney in 1979.
In over 40 years in his career at the State Attorney’s Office, Bruce has held every leadership position. He has been a Lead Trial Attorney, a Division Director, and served as Chief Assistant State Attorney for the 28 years Bernie McCabe was the State Attorney. As he worked up the chain of command through the years, Bruce’s passion to serve and protect his home community shined. He was on the prosecution team that investigated and convicted Oba Chandler for the 1989 murders of Joan Rogers and her teenage daughters, Michelle and Christie, who were visiting St. Petersburg from Ohio for a family vacation. Chandler was executed in 2011.
Bruce was also on the prosecution teams that sent the killers of law enforcement officers to prison, including St. Petersburg Police Officer Herbert Sullivan, who died in 1980; St. Petersburg Police Officer David Crawford, who was killed in 2011; and Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, who lost his life in 2014, among other members of law enforcement killed in the line of duty. Bruce has personally prosecuted over 30 murder trials including several death penalty cases, prosecuted countless Governor’s assignments around the state, and administered the Grand Jury and indictment process in Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Prosecution of violent offenders is not his only accolade. Bruce was instrumental in the development of several pre-trial intervention and diversion programs in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. The State Attorney’s Office instituted these programs to give first time or other qualified offenders the opportunity to avoid conviction or prison time. These programs include Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, and juvenile intervention and diversion programs. In the time since being appointed State Attorney by Governor Ron DeSantis, Bruce has been developing a DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P.) for first time DUI cases and expanded the qualifications for eligibility to current intervention and diversion programs. As a protégé of Bernie McCabe, Bruce embodies the principle of being tough on crime while always pursuing “the right thing to do.”
Bruce is married to Susan and they raised two boys, Brant and Kyle, and they have a daughter-in-law, Karly. Bruce and Susan enjoy travel on cruises with friends and family, horseback rides, bike rides, fishing, boating, and reading. Outside of work, Bruce has served his community as a commissioner on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, lectured at Stetson University College of Law and St. Petersburg College, and served as a board member for the Countywide Police Athletic League Program, among others. His professional and personal achievements earned him the Richard T. Earle Jr. - Barney Masterson Inn of Court Award for Demonstrating Highest Degree of Professionalism in the Practice of Law in 2004 and the Elk Lodge 1224 Prosecutor of the Year Award in 1994, among other accolades.
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