5 way race

Attorney Sean Conway is seeking to succeed Howard Finkelstein in 2020, joining Gordon Weekes, Ruby Green, Jim Lewis, and Tom Lynch, whose filing is found here.

From an email from Sean this morning:

“I am filing this week to become Broward’s next Public Defender!

In memory of my father, Jack Conway, an Irish citizen, who had always encouraged me to run some day, I had planned to announce it this St. Patrick’s Day.  It is something I have been planning to do for a very long time.  I really liked working for Al Schreiber, back when you and I were trial partners there.  It genuinely felt like a place where people enjoyed coming to work.  

Here are a few ideas I want to talk to the voters about:  

*I see no reason why every attorney who receives a taxpayer salary should not have a case load – even the elected PD.  Having ran my own private practice for the past 14 years, I see no reason why a lawyer cannot both supervise and represent people;

*Why does a taxpayer-funded agency call up every newly arrested inmate to ask if they need a lawyer?  I would make sure each jail has a free line to call the PD’s office & the office would also monitor all inmates to see if they are in there without any charges having been filed, or if they are being held without bond.  But the private defense Bar and bailbond agencies used to handle that quite efficiently, and I see no reason to go in and solicit additional criminal defense work on behalf of the taxpayers.    

* Also, I would work with the new Sheriff to get that Jail-Video link Mr. Schreiber had established back up & running again.  Not only did that Jail-Video link save time for the attorneys, but also less work for the BSO corrections deputies; 

* I would explore the idea of all attorneys being permitted to do limited, outside legal work (non-criminal), with certain policies in place;

*Lastly, if I am chosen by the voters, nobody at the PD office loses their job just because I am elected.  Everyone starts with a clean slate.  Even if you openly support other candidates – all I am asking for is your vote.  I have seen the tragedy which befalls other offices around the State when there is a change in administration.  It is not fair to the clients, for one thing – but also people should be able to express their political opinions without fear of repercussions … “

4 WAY RACE

The race for Public Defender may be getting a lot more interesting soon.  In addition to Gordon Weekes, Ruby Green, and Jim Lewis, retired judge Tom Lynch is also seriously considering throwing his hat in the ring to replace Howard Finkelstein in 2020.

As the rumors reached fever pitch this week, Tom was asked for a comment this morning.  Here’s what he had to say:

”I’m leaning heavily to run for the public defender, and will make my final decision soon. If I run I will file in early April. I have had encouraging phone conversations with a number of people. I was hired as a public defender before I was even a lawyer. Al Schreiber was the best boss I ever had. The public defenders office taught me how to become a trial lawyer. I was always extremely proud to be a public defender. I believe the office can be run better. I’m told there is low morale, and I believe the focus should be on everyone trying cases.”

Interestingly, Tom’s decision may impact the candidacy of another rumored hopeful, Josh Rydell.  

When asked about Lynch, here’s what Rydell said:

”Based on conversations I have had with retired judge Tom Lynch, I will not be running for public defender and look forward to working diligently with Tom on his campaign as we both have a similar vision for the office.”

Whether or not a Lynch filing impacts the candidacies of any of the already filed individuals remains to be seen …

OTHER NEWS – Al Pollock for Sheriff; Congratulations to Terrence Lynch, BSO’s New General Counsel …