gavel_2.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Supreme Court has declined to take an appeal by Collier County commissioners challenging the authority of court clerks to audit county funds.

The justices Wednesday issued a brief order dismissing the case without explanation other than saying they had exercised their discretion over jurisdiction.

That lets stand a 2-1 appeal court ruling affirming the clerks' ability to investigate county funds.

While the case originated in Collier, it also affects most of Florida's other 66 counties.

Clerks say a ruling in favor of the commissioners would have neutered their watchdog role.

Commissioners contend the audits will have a chilling effect on their financial planning role.