Peter Weinstein, Chief Judge
Robert Lee, Traffic Chairperson
After 23 years, Brenda Di Ioia is out of a job. Her contract to remain for another year as chief traffic magistrate has not been renewed, and it stinks of politics. Buddy Nevins has the full story here. ****SEE UPDATE BELOW****
Di Ioia, of course, is running against a sitting judge, Nina Di Pietro. Ian Richards is also in the race. Tips started coming in late last week that Di Ioia was done, and that payback for running against an incumbent was at issue. Judges Lee and Weinstein haven’t returned calls placed late this afternoon regarding the reasons for the decision. One thing’s for sure though, given rumored behind the scenes involvement of Kathy Pugh and Alexandra Rieman, it would seem the chief judge was involved in the ultimate decision.
Politics isn’t softball. This kind of thing could be expected in the broader political realm. But given the context of a judicial race, where a higher level of decorum is demanded, a perceived blow like this has no place, particularly when the powers that be seem to turn a blind eye to some incumbents relentlessly campaigning in the community during peak morning work hours. Let’s hope Lee and Weinstein call back to clarify the issues.
As for Brenda, it’s only a problem if she loses, and her critics may have inadvertently made it a lot easier to ensure a Di Ioia victory. Americans love fair play, and a carefully tailored speech detailing her firing after years of dedicated service, for daring to run against a young Republican political darling, well, you get the picture.
Throw in a tear or two, Brenda, and it might be Di Ioia v. Richards in November …
****UPDATE**** Like a lot of Buddy’s stories initially highly critical of a judge or a courthouse matter, his story crying foul over the Di Ioia firing has now undergone an extensive rewrite. After speaking to an unnamed source who “is in the 17th Judicial Circuit administration“, BrowardBeat now contends there was good reason not to retain Di Ioia as a traffic magistrate. To us the timing is still of great concern, so, as previously stated, let’s hope Lee or Weinstein call back Wednesday with their official perspective. In the meantime, anyone desiring a copy of Buddy’s story as originally published should feel free to drop us a line …
(Thanks to all Anonymous Tipsters)