ATTENTION ASA’S: GINGER DOWNS STATEMENT

Here is the Ginger Downs statement, uploaded by Channel 10.  We didn’t bother posting it on Friday because it was assumed everyone had already seen it over at Bob Norman’s place.  But since an ASA told us today it still hasn’t been widely read at the SAO, this “must read” is being posted now.

As for why FDLE wasn’t present during the statement despite their “ongoing” investigation, Tim Donnelly told us this morning “it’s an administrative statement, that’s all it is,” suggesting since FDLE was conducting a criminal investigation, they had no place at the administrative table …

DTU UPDATE

*UPDATE* – SAO response received at 1:50 PM, Thursday, confirms terminated and under investigation Ginger Downs did indeed gave a statement:

“The statement you have requested is exempt from disclosure under Chapter 119.071 (2) (c) 1, as active criminal intelligence information and/or active criminal investigative information.”

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The SAO DTU scandal has everyone talking, but with no clear information being divulged by Mike Satz, it’s all scuttlebutt.

Is it Brady?  Did Ginger Downs give a statement that could clear everything up?  And if she did give a statement, does it somehow fall under the protections afforded by Garrity v. New Jersey, as generally described by some individuals with close ties to the SAO?

We’ve emailed SAO minister of information Ron Ishoy regarding the Brady and statement questions.  Here’s what the SAO wrote back:

As to Brady:

“The matter remains under review; we have no Brady information.”

(4:42 PM, Monday)

As to the existence of a statement:

“Please be advised that we are in receipt of your request.  We will look into this and will respond accordingly.”

(9:58 AM, Thursday)

Also today, at 10:20 AM, Mike Satz was asked whether Downs gave a statement, and whether she will be charged.  He politely declined both questions by turning his back and walking silently through the corridor from the North Wing towards his office …

Ssssh …

ISHOY SPEAKS

The Broward State Attorney’s Office terminated the employment last week of long-time support staff secretary Ginger Downs.  Downs, secretary in the Drug Trafficking Unit, had been under joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the State Attorney’s Office. No charges have been filed; FDLE is continuing its investigation. ” 

(2:39 PM)

SAO SCANDAL?

SAO public information officer Ron Ishoy has promised a response later this afternoon to a public records request JAABLOG sent over this morning regarding a rumored scandal concerning the Drug Trafficking Unit, a long time employee, and possibly the handling of search warrants.  Ishoy stated via email that “other media” will also be included, meaning whatever’s going on, it isn’t an exclusive anymore.

Stay tuned

JNC LITMUS TEST

Broward Circuit Court, April 8th, 2016
Broward Circuit Court, April 8th, 2016 (click to enlarge)

JNC Chairperson Reggie Zachariah released the names of the applicants hoping to replace Cindy Imperato on the Circuit Court at 11:21 P.M., April 11th.  They are as follows:

1. Daniel Casey; 2. Thomas Coleman; 3. Andrew Demos; 4. Helen Dolland; 5. Phoebee Francois; 6. Keathan Frink; 7. Michael Heise; 8. Jennifer Hilal; 9. Jose Izquierdo; 10. Stefanie Moon; 11. Michelle Ricca; 12. Abbe Rifkin; 13. Ramon Rubio; 14. Andrew Salvage; 15. Bonne Schelin; 16. Max Soren; 17. Russell Thompson; 18. Madeline Torres; 19. Claudette Vanni; 20. Mariya Weekes; 21. Michelle Zeiger.

Rick Scott has failed to appoint a single African-American to the circuit bench since becoming governor in 2011*, and on March 24th, the JNC refused to send a single black applicant up for consideration to replace Eric Beller on the county bench.  There are currently six African-American judges out of ninety in the 17th Judicial Circuit, and two of them, Mary Robinson and Ilona Holmes, are set to retire.

But more on all of that later …

(*Charlie Crist appointed two African-Americans to the circuit court, Mike Robinson and Ken Gillespie)

DBR: Minority Attorneys Frustrated at Governor’s Bench Appointments

Coming SoonAttorney General Jack Seiler?; The Departed, Broward style …

Here’s a fun story we gave to the Sun Sentinel … from one of your tips, so please keep them coming!

And a tragedy:

Fatal crash April 8th, Boca raton Blvd (photo by Alfred T.)
Fatal crash April 8th, Boca Raton Blvd (photo by Alfred T.)

Justice Advocacy Association of Broward