James D. Molenaar, Esq., MBA, LL.M., CFE, CIA, FCRM, has been described as a skilled litigator with extensive courtroom and jury trial experience. He has handled a broad spectrum of matters including complex white-collar crime prosecutions, contract enforcement, foreclosure prosecutions/defense, identity theft prosecutions, special asset recovery, public records litigation, and many others.
Mr. Molenaar has a diverse background including experience working as a law enforcement officer, and prosecutor with the State of Illinois, Office of Inspector General.
Upon arriving in Florida in 2006 from Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Molenaar began his professional career in Naples, Florida as an Assistant State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit, State Attorney’s Office. He was assigned to prosecute crimes assigned to the office of the Economic Crime Unit of Collier County. He provided legal counsel and guidance to investigators throughout their investigations of white-collar crimes and participated in the litigation of these cases.
In 2014, he was offered the position of Internal Audit (IA) Manager for the Collier County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller. While serving as the IA Manager, Mr. Molenaar and his team planned, managed, coordinated, and performed financial and compliance audits for state grants, cash handling and revenue, payroll processes, not-for-profit entities, contract reviews and procurement, evaluated permitting requirements, capital assets/inventory audits, and economic development. He also conducted fraud investigations of county governmental entities with a focus on detecting fraud, waste and abuse of government property and taxpayer funds. In 2018, Jim was promoted to the position of Senior Legal Counsel for the Collier County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller. In this position, Jim advised the senior leadership team on a wide variety of legal matters that affect the Clerk of Court and the Clerk to the Board functions. His advisory role included the following: supervising and overseeing procurement and purchasing processes; the review of finance and bond issues, review of contracts and procurement matters, risk mitigation, legislation (especially legislation that affects the Clerk of Court’s budget and operations), labor law and employment matters, draft policies and procedures, fraud and personnel investigations, records management, ethics, compliance, and courtroom representation of the Clerk.
Mr. Molenaar joined the County Attorney’s Office in August 2021. His current assignments include representation of the Emergency Management, Emergency Services, Extension Services, Libraries, Social Services, and Veterans Affairs Departments.