SAO EMAIL RE DUIgate

Prosecutors, support staff and investigators are continuing their effort to determine exactly how many misdemeanor, traffic and county ordinance cases were involved. We can confirm that, as of this afternoon’s count, ASA David Weigel purposely did not process 116 county ordinance violations and 177 cases involving DUI charges. None of these cases were from arrested defendants. These cases were presentments by police agencies for review. We discovered that the mishandled cases were from 1997 to 2011, an average of approximately 21 cases per year during that time span. For perspective, in fiscal year 2013-14, the Broward State Attorney’s Office filed approximately 48,000 misdemeanor, criminal traffic and DUIs. When it was determined that Mr. Weigel was grossly negligent for not properly handling these cases, and that he had purposely concealed the files from his supervisor, he was fired.

Ron Ishoy, SAO PIO

CASE FILING SCANDAL?

A supervising ASA has confirmed long-term DUI Case Filing attorney Dave Weigel’s departure from the SAO.  No other information was forthcoming,  but the courthouse is all abuzz concerning a whole bunch of DUI cases that never got filed …

Developing …

UPDATE – details are sketchy, but we’re hearing hundreds of cases involving accidents and blood draws may have gone unfiled due to some sort of mix-up …

MILLER v. Di PIETRO

APD Dale Miller has filed to run against Rick Scott’s most recent judicial appointment, Nina Di Pietro.  The filing is here.

Di Pietro is not eligible for the standard two-year grace period before having to defend her seat at the polls, due to the timing of Gisele Pollack’s resignation.  She’s up with the rest of the 2016 judges.

The controversial appointment of Di Pietro has sparked more than the usual grousing concerning cronyism and nepotism in courthouse circles, and other candidates could also end up filing in the race.  Husband David Di Pietro, chair of the North Broward Hospital District, will most likely see his fundraising abilities put to the test.

2016 is shaping up to be an interesting election cycle, even before Pollack’s replacement has been sworn in …

MEET JUDGE DIPIETRO

Rumor has it Nina DiPietro has been appointed to replace Gisele Pollack on the county court bench …

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Nina Weatherly Di Pietro to the Broward County Court.

Di Pietro, 33, of Fort Lauderdale, has practiced with the law offices of David Di Pietro, P.A. since 2013. She previously practiced with the Kreiss Law Firm from 2008-2013, and served as an assistant public defender from 2006-2008. Di Pietro received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Nova Southeastern University. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Gisele Pollack.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Nina has the experience and knowledge that will make her an honorable judge. I am confident that she will fairly serve Floridians in her new role on the Broward Court bench.

(JAABLOG Post: 12:55 PM;  Press Release: 5:01 PM)

Supreme Court rejects sweetheart JQC deal for Cindy Imperato

SCT enhances proposed JQC punishment for Jacqueline Schwartz

NO BOND FOR YOU!

Say goodbye to First Appearances as you know it.  The new bond schedule is out, eliminating many common convenience bonds on non-drug crimes.

This has been brewing since well before the chief judge election, with everyone waiting for Peter Weinstein to make a decision.  BSO, the SAO, and the Public Defender’s Office supported eliminating convenience bonds, and now it appears court administration has mostly agreed with the major stakeholders’ positions.

How will it work?  Many offenders will now have to see a magistrate judge before being given a bond.  It’s unclear at this time whether the extra burden will fall on Jay Hurley, or whether a third daily magistrate session will be added, with another presiding judge to relieve the pressure.  Expect much higher bonds for those with prior records, more pretrial for those without serious backgrounds, and many more bond revocations, since those with an already pending case won’t be able to bond out quickly before facing the music at First Appearances  …

(New Bond Schedule Here – Effective May 18, 2015)

MOTION DENIED!

Rumor has it John Contini has denied the SAO’s Motion to Disqualify as legally insufficient (4:34 PM) …

UPDATESS: Contini denies Motion (5:02 PM)

“Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said it was “much ado about nothing.” He found it disingenuous of Satz, saying Satz has had little reaction when Broward judges have been brought up on DUI charges and in other investigations.

“We’ve had some real problems with the Broward judiciary,” Finkelstein said. “This is not even a ripple in the ocean of problems that we’ve had, yet this is the first time we hear from the State Attorney’s Office.”

Justice Advocacy Association of Broward