Picture of Centers
James Patrick Story

Jimmy Patrick was born on August 16, 1946 and was just 16 months old when he was diagnosed with astrocytoma, a tumor was wrapped around his spinal cord and he was given only 2-4 months to live. Jimmy's parents would not accept it and after six major operations and numerous X-ray treatments, Jimmy was alive and well and going to school. However, at age 12, the tumor reoccured resulting in more surgeries and treatments and he had to re-learn to walk three times. Eventually, he learned to use a wheelchair because his muscles atrophied.

After graduating from the University of North Florida in 1981, Jimmy began his long and distinguished career with the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville, FL. Over the years, he worked in the Cititizen's Dispute Settlement Program, Youth Mediation/Work Program, the Worthless Check Program, and eventually he headed the Restitution Enforcement Program. In addition, he assisted with special projects including managing citizen volunteers (mediators).

While working at the State Attorney's Office, he developed a passion for the Tax Collection Enforcement Diversion Program. He felt it was wrong for millions of dollars of state sales tax to go uncollected. He convinced his long time friend State Senator Steve Wise to develop legislation that would allow State Attorney's offices to go after these funds. The bill that was drafted, and eventually passed, allowed for some of the revenue to help working persons with significant disabilities, who because they are working, are disqualified from receiving social security income, to receive a small amount of money to pay for a personal care attendant. Jimmy understood that without personal care attendants many persons with disabilities couldn't work. The bill established the Personal Care Attendant Program and the funding mechanism for the program - The Tax Collection Diversion Enforcement Program. Currently, six State Attorney's offices in Florida have a tax collection diversion program.

Having no use of his arms or hands, in the beginning, Jimmy used a puff/sip telephone to make his many, many calls. For his computer, he used a mouth stick, but thanks to advances in technology, he eventually transitioned to a computer and phone system that used voice activated command software. In addition to serving on the Mayor's Disability Council, the Board of Directors for the Opportunity Development, Inc. CIL (and recognized for his service on both), Jimmy received:

  • The Liberty Bell Awarded in 1989 from the Jacksonville Bar Association for service to the legal community by someone who is not a lawyer.
  • The Davis Productivity Award in 1992 from Florida Tax Watch for his work in saving money for the tax payers.
  • The Prudential Financial & Davis Productvity Award in 2006 for the Tax Collection Enforcement Program..
  • The Celebrate Independence Award from Genesis Rehabilitation Hospitals and Centers in July 1995.

Perhaps State Attorney Harry Shorstein summed it up best when he said of Jimmy Patrick:

"We will all miss him deeply. Not only did we admire his dedication, we also respected the unbelievably effective job he did for the citizens of the State of Florida."