Criminal Justice Center
14250 49th St. N.
Clearwater, FL 33762
PHONE: (727) 464-6516
FAX: (727) 464-6119
Dade City Courthouse
38053 Live Oak Ave.
Dade City, FL 33523
PHONE: (352) 521-4388
FAX: (352) 521-4261
West Pasco Judicial Center
7530 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654
PHONE: (727) 847-8155
FAX: (727) 847-8025
Bob Dillinger, Public Defender
Bob Dillinger, a native Floridian, is an Ivy League graduate of Columbia University in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University in 1973 and from Stetson College of Law in 1976. He accepted the role of assistant public defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. He served on the Capital Crimes Defense team and was instrumental in publishing Florida's first comprehensive death penalty training manual for defense attorneys.
After several years as assistant public defender, Dillinger left government service and opened a private practice, where he specialized in criminal defense and civil jury work.
He decided to run for the office of Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 1995 and by September 1996 he successfully obtained his party’s nomination. He was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Dillinger received numerous awards for his service to the community, including the Nelson Poynter Award from the St. Petersburg Times.
During his swearing-in ceremony in 1997, Dillinger defined the role of a Public Defender:
We are the HOPE of the poor;
We are the HOPE of those in the system who are innocent;
We are the HOPE of those overcharged;
We are the HOPE of the mentally ill that society wants to
either warehouse or ignore;
We are the HOPE of the juveniles who need help and guidance
from a system that offers little of either;
We are the HOPE - probably the only HOPE- of those our society
seeks to execute;
We are the HOPE.
My hope is that you will join me as we make this office the hope
of the people we represent.
CIVIC & PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
- Board of Directors – Van Gogh’s Palette, Florida’s Children First
- Board Member – Juvenile Welfare Board
- Life Member, National Rifle Association, Distinguished Expert Ranking
- Multi-million dollar federal grant recipient for jail diversion of mentally ill clients
- Pilot program recipient for troubled juveniles
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
- Adjunct Professor of Law – Stetson College of Law
- Advocacy Award - Florida’s Children First - 2004, 2008
- AV Rated Martindale Hubbell Attorney
- Ben C. Willard Award from Stetson College of Law
- Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Congressman Gus Bilirakis - 2007
- Chosen a Florida Super Lawyer - 2006, 2008
- Co-Founder of Florida Public Defender College
- Florida Division National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Award 2004 for advocacy efforts to assist adults and children with mental illness in our community and the state
- Former Master & Counselor, Barney Masterson Inn of Court
- Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award - 2001
- Legislative Chair, Florida Public Defender’s Association - 1999 to present
- Local Hero Award from Bank of America's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative - 2011
- NAMI Iris Award for significant contributions to improving the mental health system - 1999
- Nelson Poynter Award - 1982
- PACE Award for community service to Partners in Crisis - 2001
- President’s Award - Florida Public Defender Association
- St. Petersburg Bar Association Pro Bono Award - 1990
- Suncoast Center for Mental Health Award - 2003
- Who’s Who in American Law - 1998, 1999, 2000
Florida Public Defender Association Craig Stewart Barnard Award
Three winners of this prestigious award have worked or are still working in the office of the Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
- 1988 Anthony Rondolino, Chief Assistant, currently a Circuit Judge
- 1995 Dudley J. Clapp III, former Sr. Assistant Public Defender
- 2000 Chris Helinger, Assistant Public Defender, currently a Circuit Judge
Pinellas County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association
Robert Hindman Award
Named after Robert “Bob” Hindman, an affable assistant state attorney in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, who was assigned to the juvenile division. Mr. Hindman suffered from the effects of childhood polio but was known for his caring attitude for children. He died shortly after his thirtieth birthday. The Pinellas County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association decided to issue a yearly award for the person who had made an outstanding contribution to the criminal justice system.
Bob Dillinger received the first annual Bob Hindman award for his work in exposing brutality in the Sheriff’s Office, which exposure led to successful lawsuits, to the terminations of the involved deputies and to the election of a new sheriff.
1998 Recipient: Chris Helinger, Assistant Public Defender, currently a Circuit Judge
2001 Recipient: Former Chief Assistant Public Defender David Parry
1997 Recipient of the Florida Public Defender Association
Investigator of the Year Award
Ralph J. Pflieger, investigator, Sixth Judicial Circuit, Clearwater, Florida
Ralph J. Pflieger has a dual perspective on law enforcement, having worked on both sides of the criminal justice system. Pflieger’s career began as a patrol officer with the St. Petersburg Police Department in 1969.
In 1973, Pflieger became a detective in the department’s criminal investigation division. In 1985, he began working in homicide where he specialized in polygraph, fire death inquiries and bloodstain analysis for crime scene reconstruction.
Pflieger joined the Sixth Judicial Circuit public defender office in 1991, where he performs follow-up criminal investigations on behalf of court-appointed indigent defendants.
Pflieger works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. In a recent case, he was able to clear a suspect charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment, sexual battery and attempted sexual battery in a unique legal move.
Working from information that the crimes were committed by a look-alike who worked in the same area as the accused, Pflieger sought a warrant to search the home of the new suspect’s sister. Evidence found during the search resulted in his client’s freedom.
While it is normal for law enforcement to obtain search warrants, this was the first time in Pinellas County history that the defense sought one.
Search Warrant 1997
Click here to review the warrant.
Search Warrant 2007
2007 - Assistant Public Defender Susan Gardner and Public Defender Investigator J.D. Thomas obtained a search warrant in a DUI manslaughter case to show that another car, a white Bronco, had pushed the client's yellow car into another vehicle in which a person was killed. The white Bronco in question revealed yellow paint. The search warrant resulted from extensive investigation by Investigator Thomas in locating witnesses and eventually, the concealed Bronco. Click here to review the warrant.
NAMI Iris Awards
National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, Pinellas Chapter IRIS Award Winners: Bob Dillinger, Violet Assaid, Ray Williams, Priscilla McGuire and Libby Lubin; and for the Public Defender's office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit for years of service and commitment to improving the lives of persons with mental illness.
2005 Coalition for the Homeless Appreciation Award
Community Service and Leadership Award
presented to Public Defender Bob Dillinger
Special Recognition Award presented to the
Public Defender's Mental Health Division
Fred G. Minnis Diversity Award
The Fred G. Minnis Sr. Bar Association presented its annual diversity awards to Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger and to the law firm Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell in appreciation of commitment to and support of diversity.
The third annual scholarship and awards banquet took place March 7, 2006, at St. Petersburg's Stetson College of Law.
2006 NAMI Humanitarian Award
October 7, 2006, the National Alliance of
the Mentally Ill, Pinellas Chapter, (NAMI)
presented its Humanitarian Award to the
Public Defender Bob Dillinger.
2011 Benjamin Franklin Distinguished Leadership Award
The Benjamin Franklin Distinguished
Leadership Award is presented annually
for the purpose of stimulating, encouraging and recognizing exemplary public leadership. The award recognizes those persons who, through public, appointed, or elected
service, have exhibited extraordinary
integrity, courage and achievement.
Prior recipients include five governors, a
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Representatives.
2012 Jane Shaeffer Outstanding Homeless Advocate Award
The Jane Shaeffer Outstanding Homeless Advocate Award is given biennially by the Public Interest Law Section, and was established in 2010 to honor the memory of distinguished attorney and advocate Jane Hunter Shaeffer. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in advocacy for homeless persons by an individual who has meaningfully improved conditions or treatment of homeless persons through litigation, policy advocacy, direct service or otherwise, either in a specific locale or throughout the State of Florida.
2013 The President's Call to Service Award
The President’s Call to Service Award was presented to Bob Dillinger by the Corporation for National and Community Service, in recognition of his volunteer service in our community. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service activities through various organizations, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.