Clerk Karnes was appointed Clerk of the Court & Comptroller by Gov. DeSantis in March 2022 and was elected to the position in August 2022 by Lee County voters.
Karnes holds a master’s degree in Legal Studies (MLS) from American Public University and a bachelor’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a 15-year veteran of the Clerk’s office and has held a variety leadership positions managing many projects and legislative changes.
As Clerk, Karnes is responsible for guiding our team members through new challenges. In this capacity, he oversees an office of 350 employees in seven departments: Human Resources, Finance and Records, Courts, Department of Innovation and Technology, Inspector General, Records Management, and Communications.
In recent years, this office has faced stronger demands and unforeseen circumstances that have forced us to reimagine how to best provide services to the citizens of Lee County. Karnes' track record over the years makes him qualified to face these demands. He has always worked to provide improved services to the public and reduce operational costs through reducing our reliance on paper records, streamlining many data entry processes, and adding online services. Current examples of his success are TeleClerk, Make an Appointment, and E-Certify.
Karnes proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades. He also previously served as a Guardian Ad Litem and has been a News-Press Editorial Board member.
Karnes' goals are to continue the Clerk’s vision of being recognized as a premier model of exceptional government and to provide outstanding customer service to our community.