Can a Comptroller Refuse to Disburse Road Funds ?

In State ex rel. Harrell v. Cone, 130 Fla. 158, 177 So. 854 (1937), a comptroller refused to disburse road funds. A mandamus action was filed against him. As a defense to that action, the comptroller challenged the constitutionality of the law requiring disbursement of the funds. The Supreme Court of Florida acknowledged the general rule announced in State ex rel. Atlantic Coast Line Railway Co. v. State Board of Equalizers, 84 Fla. 592, 94 So. 681 (Fla. 1922), but also noted that an appropriate exception to the rule had been made in lower appellate court cases where a ministerial officer is charged with the control and disbursement of public funds. See Cone, 177 So. at 856. The Court embraced the public funds exception and held that the comptroller met the requirements of that exception. See id. at 857.