Osceola Clerk of Court talks to WFTV about controversial start in office

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

The head of the Osceola County courthouse has been the center of controversy in his first few weeks in office. He has been accused of nepotism, over-paying employees he hired, and he instituted a dress code three times as long as the one already in place.

On Monday he sat down with WFTV's Jorge Estevez and talked about his controversial start.

The same faith that helped Armando Ramirez become the new Osceola County Clerk of Court has also caused controversy

"I know that God created us with the virtue of having free will and that is very, very important," said Ramirez.

Ramirez is signs off on internal memos with a line delivered by Yul Brynner in the movie The Ten Commandments, 'So let it be written. So let it be done,' which he says is just an affirmation.

"I think some people misunderstand me in good faith, but others do it deliberately," said Ramirez.

In less than a month, the 78-year-old has also been criticized for bringing his wife to work. She was there during the interview with Estevez.

Ramirez said she is going to be a part of his new volunteer and intern program.

She spoke out about all her husband's detractors.

"I just want people to give him a chance," said Mildred Ramirez.

Most recently, Ramirez was criticized for hiring people he knows and giving them a higher salary than in previous administrations.

Ramirez said the salaries are "about the same as other counties; maybe a little bit more or a little bit less."

Ramirez ended with a message to his critics.

"I have news for them, I will succeed because the truth and justice is with me," said Ramirez.

Accusations of nepotism came up when Ramirez hired his son's live-in girlfriend to be his executive assistant. Because they are not married, nepotism does not technically apply. Ramirez said her experience qualifies her for the job.