Man mistakenly released from Florida Keys jail after clerical error

Paul Clift, 36, apprehended Thursday on Conch Key
Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 11:17:45-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man mistakenly released from a Florida Keys jail is back in custody.

Paul Clift, 36, of Key West, was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for non-violent, drug-related crimes, but the Monroe County Sheriff's Office received erroneous information from the clerk's office that he should be released, a spokesman for the agency said Thursday.

The clerk's office corrected the error, but not before Clift had already been released, sheriff's spokesman Adam Linhardt said.

"My clerks put the instructions on the wrong line" of a court form, Monroe County Clerk Kevin Madok told WPTV on Friday.


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Clift was apprehended Thursday on Conch Key, Linhardt said.

"I want to thank the men and women of the (Monroe County) Sheriff's Office for their quick handling of this incident," Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement. "We are working with the Clerk of Court office to ensure this error does not occur again."

Madok said the incident has pushed him to accelerate his efforts to adopt electronic court filing.

"I want to go to electronic, so at least we fix that problem," he said.