All posts by Jaaber

DIVERSION!

SUN SENTINEL

“To demonstrate her sincere remorse and not wanting any special treatment” and to satisfy prosecutors, Honowitz took a four-hour internet class about stealing, (Attorney Jayne) Weintraub said …

The Broward State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that after the case was closed on Nov. 5, Honowitz was restored to her job. While she was suspended and absent from work, she used vacation time and will not be paid for approximately 20 additional days …

DISMISSED!

The Lunch Bunch: Ken Gottlieb, Bobby Diaz, and Jill Levy

Remember back in May, when Jill Levy fought Larrry Meltzer about continuing a trial case because his mother-in-law was in hospice care?  After the JAABLOG post Calling All Cars went up, the case was eventually reset, allowing Meltzer to attend to his family duties.  Sadly, his mother-in-law passed away days later.

As far as the case at issue was concerned, it was tried to a successful conclusion by Larry before another judge, after Levy recused herself from all of his cases.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story.

At some point following the Meltzer family’s loss, Larry got a call from a court reporter asking for clarifications of dialogue from audio-recorded court proceedings concerning the hospice care issues and continuance requests.  When Larry asked who had ordered the hearings transcribed, he was told “a judge.”  No further detail was given.

Shortly thereafter, Meltzer received the following letter from the Florida Bar:

Apparently, despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Meltzer’s requests, and the puzzling resistance by Levy, somebody had put Larry in the Bar’s crosshairs.

From Calling All Cars:

Yesterday Levy denied a request for a continuance made by Meltzer, known for trying more DUI cases than almost anyone, and she reportedly ordered him to pull his son from school and be present today with the boy, all in a strange effort to overcome the child care issues created by his wife’s need to go to New Jersey.  This morning Levy told Meltzer that her niece was in the courtroom and available to babysit Meltzer’s four year old son during trial, an offer that was appropriately declined.

We have no idea who ordered the transcripts, or who brought them to the Bar’s attention, but we aim to find out.  In the meantime, the Bar has fortunately come to its senses in time for the holiday season, sending this letter dismissing the complaint earlier this week:

Great news for the Meltzer family, who should not have had to endure the added stress of a frivolous and insensitive bar investigation during a period of mourning …

Coming SoonBobby Diaz v. Adriana Alcalde: Another real head-scratcher of a bar complaint …

MOVEMENT

Here is an incomplete and unconfirmed list of upcoming rumored judicial assignments:

Alspector: Felony Domestic Violence (G. Cohen).

Powell: First Appearances (Mollica).

Mollica: County Criminal.

Weekes: Circuit Criminal (D. Bailey).

D. Bailey: Trial Division (Holmes).

Cawthon: West for Hilal.

Hilal: Central.

Moon: DV/Family.

Gillespie: Probate (Weinstein or Speiser).

Rodriguez-Powell: Probate.

Casey: new 3rd degree Felony Division.

Africk-Olefson: Dependency.

As far as Backman’s ROC Division, it’s still unknown if he’ll be replaced, or whether both ROC’s will be combined or merged with trial divisions.

There are also some outstanding appointments to be made soon, and lots going on in Civil, so post a comment if you have insights as to other moves …

PD RACE UPDATE

*UPDATERichard Kaplan is not a contender for Public Defender …

The 2020 State Attorney race has people talking, and so does Public Defender.

Here’s the lay of the land, thus far:

Howard Finkelstein’s heir apparent Gordon Weekes is a filed candidate.  Jim Lewis is too.

Assistant Public Defender Ruby Green stated “no comment” when asked today to confirm or deny rumors that she was considering a run for the top spot.

PD alum George Reres said “it’s still a real possibility” in response to the same question.

Another PD alum, Josh Rydell, texted:

I am leaning in the direction of running for public defender after my service as Mayor of Coconut Creek concludes.”

Rydell reports his mayoral term ends this March, and his commissioner service in 2021.

Johnny Weekes debunked a rumor that he would be filing to help his friend and office mate Rydell in a name game ploy. J. Weekes stated and texted he will not be running for Public Defender.

Richard Kaplan, widely believed to be exploring further avenues to capitalize on his recent strong showing at the polls, has not gotten back to us yet as to whether or not he is also interested in becoming the Public Defender.

Please post a comment with any other rumored candidates …

THE BEAT GOES ON …

BrowardBeat.com has picked up on the Mike Satz retirement rumors, and has been given the same official SAO position that JAABLOG received earlier this month: “We do not have any comments at this time.”

The article is found here, adding Bobby DiazKal Evans and John Fry to the list of rumored potential candidates.

For our part, we’ve since learned that Evans is definitely not interested, while Fry offered “no comment.”

As for Diaz, he just committed to serving a full six-year judicial term:

As BrowardBeat states, there will definitely be more candidates drawn to the flame from both inside and outside courthouse circles, so post a comment if you’ve got the goods …

WHO WANTS TO BE THE STATE ATTORNEY?

Chatter concerning Mike Satz’s possible retirement in 2020 has reached fever pitch.

Today the SAO was abuzz with a rumor that Satz will indeed throw the towel in, and give Sarahnell Murphy the nod.

Murphy, for her part, did not pick up her cell when called, and did not respond to a text message asking for confirmation or denial.

Another rumored hopeful from within the SAO, Tony Loe, did not respond to text or a voicemail.

Jack Seiler did not return texts, but sounded like a definite maybe after he was reached for a brief conversation earlier this evening.

Mark Bogen gave a 150% “not happening.”

Brian Silber stated:

It is something I am seriously considering, but have not made a decision about yet.”

Because it is known Silber has been calling around town putting out feelers for support, we asked if he would run against Satz in the event the incumbent did not retire. In response, Silber declined further comment.

Teresa Williams, who came very close indeed to beating Satz last time around, will run again, whether or not the seat is vacant.

Her text:

I believe that I am the best person to bring criminal justice reform to Broward County.  I will be running for State Attorney.

That’s it for now.  Post a comment if you know of anyone else rumored to be considering a run, or have more information on Satz’s intentions …

COMING SOONDiaz v. Alcalde!

STAY TUNED …

We’re told the Publix surveillance video is to be released by Aventura PD shortly.  Tune in to your favorite mainstream media outlet for further details. _________________________________________________________________

*UPDATE*: Channel 10 – Publix Surveillance Video

YOU MAKE THE CALL!

(additional video from other parts of store should be available soon)

SS/Olmeda: Police release video of Broward prosecutor’s alleged shoplifting

The security footage shows Honowitz shopping with her teenage daughter Saturday afternoon at a Publix on 18995 Biscayne Blvd. She is seen browsing in the cosmetics aisle and placing items in her purse.

She can later be seen paying a cashier for more than $120 in groceries …

But Honowitz did not leave the store immediately — a few minutes later she was in line to buy a lottery ticket, and she appears to reach into her purse to get money to pay the second cashier.

Then the surveillance footage shows Honowitz and her daughter leaving the store, only to be confronted by a security guard and a Publix employee …

There is no indication that Honowitz sees the cosmetics in her handbag before she pays for her groceries, or later for her lottery ticket …

CBS Miami: Kevin McGill and unnamed lawyers say no clear case

McGill: “There’s no erratic, sneaky behavior” … 

Jayne Weintraub: “If she had put (cosmetics in) the cart, they would have fallen through” … 

BUSTED!

High profile ASA Stacey Honowitz has been accused of some sort of criminal activity.

We received tips via JAABLOG’s Anonymous Tip Box (found in the upper right corner of the blog) over the weekend, alleging something along the lines of theft in Aventura.  Mainstream media has been made aware, so details should be forthcoming soon.

Honowitz has yet to respond to our text messages …

(Thanks to Anonymous Tipsters)

*UPDATE*: the following email is from Constance Simmons, public information officer for the SAO.  In response to specific questions regarding the nature of the allegations, the SAO has not answered:

**UPDATE II**:

Channel 7: Broward prosecutor arrested after shoplifting incident at Aventura Publix

Aventura Police officers were called to the supermarket, located at 18995 Biscayne Blvd., after the staff at the store claimed to have caught Honowitz shoplifting.

Officers reviewed surveillance video and interviewed employees before charging Honowitz …

***UPDATE III***:

Click to enlarge PC Affidavit …