James D. Molenaar, Esq.

"Strong Leadership in Times of Change"

Help Build a Better Future for Your Community

James "Jim" Molenaar, Esq.

As the son of James E. Molenaar and Gwen McLean Molenaar, Jim and his own young family are ready for him to embark upon this path of serving the citizens of Collier County to the best of his abilities. His education, knowledge and experience is what the people of this county need and deserve to have as their next Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller.



Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Political Science from Purdue University. He then worked to achieve his Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University, College of Law. To further his experience in the law, he received his Master of Law in Information Technology and Privacy Law from the John Marshall Law School at the University of Illinois. To gain more professional business knowledge, Jim earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration.

Jim has served in many professional capacities that makes him an EXCELLENT CHOICE for YOUR Collier County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller.

Upon passing the bar exam, Jim began his career as an attorney at Molenaar & Associates, LTD. He also contracted with the Secretary of State of Illinois to prosecute DUI offenders. Jim then worked as Legal Counsel & Inspector General for the State of Illinois in the Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services. He advised departmental officials on HIPAA regulations, Medicare/Medicaid and other healthcare and regulatory law issues, and in negotiating settlement agreements.

In Florida, Jim began his professional career in Naples as a Prosecutor for the 20th Judicial Circuit, State Attorney’s Office. As a hardened litigator, Jim prosecuted crimes as a member of the Economic Crimes Unit for many years. He provided legal guidance to investigators throughout their investigations of white-collar crimes. This included: intake, filing decisions, first appearance hearings, probable cause hearings, motion hearings, and both non-jury and jury trials. He primarily worked major felony cases.

For a brief period, Jim began his own practice, White Molenaar, Attorneys at Law. He litigated legal matters with a concentration in civil litigation and white-collar crime. He also provided legal representation for his clients in the areas of: real estate law, wills, trusts & estates, asset protection, financial law and probate law. While having his own practice was rewarding, he missed the desire to work and help in the public sector.

He was then offered the position of Internal Audit Manager for the Collier County Clerk of Courts & Comptroller by Clerk of Courts, Dwight Brock. While both being attorneys, Jim’s strength in white-collar crime reminded Dwight of his early days as an attorney, also fighting white-collar crime. Dwight’s faith and confidence in Jim to develop the Internal Audit (IA) Department proved to be successful. Jim built the department, developed the policies and procedures, and put the procedures into a working model with a dynamic team of auditors.

While serving as the IA Manager, Jim and his team planned, managed, coordinated, and performed financial and compliance audits. He also conducted fraud investigations of county governmental entities regarding fraud, waste and abuse of governmental property and funds.

In 2018, Jim was promoted to the position of Senior Legal Counsel for the Clerk’s office. In this position, Jim advises the senior leadership team on a wide variety of legal matters that affect the Clerk of Courts/Board functions. He supervises and provides oversight in procurement processes; reviews finance and bond issues, examines contracts and legislation, labor law, fraud and personnel investigations, records management, ethics, compliance and courtroom representation for the Clerk’s office.

Some of Jim’s key accomplishments and professional affiliations are listed below:


  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Florida Public Records Manager (FCRM)
  • Certified Passport Acceptance Agent (CPAA)
  • Candidate for Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)
  • Candidate for Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Former Law Enforcement Officer
  • Candidate for Association of Government Accountants – Certified Government Financial Mgr.


  • Licensed member of the Florida Bar
  • Licensed member of the Illinois Bar
  • Leadership Collier Graduate (Class of 2012); Growing Associates in Naples (Class Co-Chair '13)
  • Collier County Bar Association Member
  • Institute of Internal Auditors - President of the Southwest Florida Chapter #226 (2018 – 2020)
  • Chair of the Grievance Committee – 20th Judicial Circuit 2016 – July 31, 2019
  • Michael R. M. McDonnell Inns of Court – Past Executive Board Member
  • Past Member of the Naples North Rotary Club
  • Conduct Nationwide Ethics Presentations for Attorneys and Auditors (2 Credit Hours)

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