YOU MAKE THE CALL! (F BOMB EDITION)

Should the Florida Supreme Court go along with the JQC’s recommendation of a 60 day suspension for Seminole County’s Wayne Culver, pictured above asking “a fuckin’ question, asshole!

Or should the penalty be removal, because no matter how frustrating a day in county court may be, Culver’s reenactment of the stereotypical abusive and tyrannical Florida judge is simply unforgivable in 2022?

Click here for the full list of Culver’s offenses/JQC’s Findings and Recommendations of Discipline and You Make The Call!

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Should Pete Holden grant Mike Gottlieb’s Motion To Dismiss Predicated On Prosecutorial Misconduct filed today in State v. Corey Gordon?

If, taken as true as alleged in the motion (“I f**ked up bad”), do Katya Palmiotto’s actions rise to the level for dismissal? Or should the case go on to be tried a third time?

Read Mike’s full motion here, and You Make The Call!

SS/Rafael Olmeda – Prosecutor’s errant text message triggers mistrial in South Florida murder case

This is the second time the case against Gordon has ended in a mistrial. The first was in early May before Circuit Judge Lisa Porter, when the prosecution questioned a witness about the defendant’s refusal to give a statement. Juries in criminal trials are not permitted to consider a defendant’s silence as proof of guilt …

WRONG GROUP SO SORRY!

Corey Gordon’s trial on murder allegations abruptly ended in a mistrial yesterday afternoon, going into its second week. Prosecutor Katya Palmiotto (formerly Pisman) sent the group text pictured below during the trial to a bunch of current and former colleagues, including former judge Gina Hawkins,* and, unfortunately, the presiding judge, Pete Holden.

We’re told Palmiotto failed to bring her error to the attention of Holden or defense attorney Mike Gottlieb, and upon finding the ex parte blurb on his phone in his office during a court recess some time later, the judge was none too pleased. Straight shooter Holden immediately brought the matter to Gottlieb’s attention, asked the defense if they wanted a mistrial, and once affirmed, declared one based upon manifest necessity.

Gottlieb today had no comment, stating he would be following up with additional filings in the days to come …

Speaking of Gina Hawkins CONDITIONAL GUILTY PLEA FOR CONSENT JUDGMENT (Bar v. Hawkins):

“Ninety-day suspension from the practice of law with
automatic reinstatement … “

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Full group text recipients

SAO SWAP!

Email from Harold Pryor to the SAO from earlier today:

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The purpose of this email is to inform you of a personnel change within the office. As we continue to move forward under my administration, I am constantly reflecting, evaluating, and assessing the needs of the office and making decisions that I believe will optimize our efficiency and performance.

In the spirit of transparency, I believe it is important to share changes and as such, effective July 1, 2022, the following will take effect:

Paul Valcore will serve as the ASAIC of FTU
Mike Horowitz will serve as the ASAIC of CCU/TTL

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding these updates, please don’t hesitate to contact me

DIAZ & SCHERER UPDATE

After a comment from “Sleepy judge” on May 20th, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources that Bobby Diaz did indeed appear to fall asleep during the trial and testimony of ex-BSO Deputy/Defendant Jorge Sobrino.

We’re working on getting audio and/or video footage that may have captured the judicial reawakening at roughly 1:36 PM on May 19th. The trial was widely covered, and CBS 4 was handling the “pooled” video feed, so we’ll be sure to follow-up.

Paraphrasing, one observer had this to say:

It was clear to everyone in the courtroom (the judge) was asleep. The clerk was tapping on the glass to wake him. He was leaning back in his chair, and no one knows how long he was out for, because it was only when the defense lawyer asked to approach that people realized the judge was out.

Fortunately for Sobrino, his lawyers Eric Schwartzreich and Michael Finesilver did not ask for a mistrial, most likely sensing that the ultimate not guilty verdict was on its way …

(Thanks again to “Sleepy judge”)

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Liz Scherer, previously known for her astounding comments about Rastafari, today reportedly professed ignorance regarding Juneteenth, the federal holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

From the Twitter feed of WPLG 10’s Christina Boomer Vazquez, covering Parkland earlier today:

UPDATECHANNEL 10: Broward judge ‘didn’t get memo’ on Juneteenth (Video)

COMING SOONWWHS (or What Would Haile Selassie Do?)

LAWSUIT!

Formerly Chukwuma, Hildebrandt & Ray …

Former Broward ASA’s Jeff Chukwuma and Landon Ray are headed to court in Miami in different roles than they’re used to, following the filing of this complaint by Plaintiff Ray on May 10th.

Judging from the allegations, the dissolution of their law partnership has unfortunately turned toxic, and definitely newsworthy, given Jeff’s massive presence on social media …

SPENCER OUT …

*UPDATE* – text received from Jordy Spencer at 6:01 PM:

I am postponing my run for judge until 2024 due to the medical decline of a family member. I want to thank my friends, family and firm for their continued support during this difficult time.

And a text at 6:02 PM from her former opponent Mike Ahearn:

I was saddened to see Ms. Spencer is leaving our race due to a family illness. I have come to know her over the last few months and found her to be someone who would have been a tough opponent. I wish her well in her future endeavors and my prayers to her family.

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Jordanne Spencer has quit the race to fill the county seat vacated by Mindy Solomon, after paying the $6255.08 qualifying fee on April 29th, leaving the following three candidates in place:

KASTRENAKES OUT …

South Florida legend John Kastrenakes is hanging up his 15th Circuit robe, after qualifying for reelection just last week.

The following email was reportedly sent to supporters today:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Today I sent a letter to the Florida Division of Elections officially removing my name from the 2022 ballot for Circuit Court Judge, Group 23.

As someone who has served in our judiciary since 2009 and who dedicated their entire career to public service, this was an incredibly difficult decision to make. We tentatively reached this conclusion last Monday, and now firmly believe that this is the best decision for my family moving forward.

Recent developments in the election landscape created new circumstances that would have substantially impacted my family and my job as a judicial officer. As my career has amply demonstrated, being a good husband, father, grandfather and dedicated, hard-working judge takes priority, especially over politics.

I have been humbled by the overwhelming support and encouragement I have received across our legal community. To all those who donated, thank you for your generous support. My campaign plans on making a refund of your donation.

I have been blessed to know the best of our legal community and citizens over a 42-year career of public service spanning from Miami to Washington, D.C. During that career, it has been my honor and distinct privilege to serve the citizens of our State and my country in multiple capacities. It has been a labor of love and gratitude. During that time, I was blessed to work with incredibly talented and dedicated public servants, not the least of which have been my colleagues here on the bench in Palm Beach County.

I plan to serve out the remainder of my term and then spend more valuable time with my wife, Pia, of 42 years and our children and 9 grandchildren. I also plan on expanding my national teaching schedule with multiple agencies whose mission is dedicated to making our nation safe. Of course, if called upon, I would not hesitate to come back in any capacity where I can further serve our community in the future.

Sincerely yours in service,

Johnny K.