What’s next for Lynn Feig Rosenthal?
If the JQC looks at her Reckless Driving case like the Miami Herald and some people we’ve spoken with, plenty. Quoting the editors, “the plea does not dispel the cloud that still hangs over her“. Exercising her rights is one thing, but the message sent in this case hardly improves public confidence in the judiciary.
Her press statement doesn’t help matters either. Does it seem like she’s taken responsibility for her actions? It simply creates more questions.
For instance, who is the doctor she blames for over-prescribing Ambien? And why did she balk at giving blood in addition to urine? Whether or not BSO perfectly followed procedure, it was a reasonable request, which Feig Rosenthal should have honored considering “(she) knows she must live by a more stringent standard than the one imposed on the people she serves”. If reelected, she will always be known as the judge who refused to come clean.
In addition to the press statement, she failed to appear in court. No public display of somber and contrite humility here. And since it was all about Ambien, what real harm could have resulted from discussing the issues before today?
Feig Rosenthal also filed a motion entitled Objection To Issuance Of Search Warrant And Motion For Return Of Property concerning her cell phone, which contained the video mentioned in the PC Affidavit from 595. Why did she invoke her right to privacy, and refuse consent to search her iPhone when the arresting officer asked her to unlock it and give him access after she was taken into custody? And why did she try to manipulate a law which clearly no longer applied to her, in order to stop the mug shot from being released?
Questions also abound at the way the case was handled. Why was the Xanax hidden from the public until today? Would it not have been in the average citizen’s PC Affidavit as a strong indicator of impairment, particularly in consideration of the downright dangerous driving pattern? And given the totality of the circumstances, why wasn’t she given significant probation? Has public safety been served by allowing a sweet breakdown plea with zero supervision or monitoring beyond the date of arraignment?
In the end, the biggest concern for the JQC should be over Feig Rosenthal’s judgment. But for the arrest, would she have taken the bench, and decided people’s fates in an altered state? Has the stress of a judgeship led to the need for strong sleeping pills and benzos for nervous tension that may be impacting her performance? And having failed to exhibit leadership qualities in her darkest hour, unlike Judge Brenda Sheehan, who fully cooperated with law enforcement during her recent driving dilemma and profusely apologized for her actions, does Feig Rosenthal deserve to remain in a position of authority over others?
Let’s see what’s next …
Rosenthal back to criminal? – Feig Rosenthal and the other arrested judges surrendered the moral high ground when they refused testing. They shouldn’t be allowed back into the criminal division, even after cases are resolved and sentences have been served. But since it’s up to the chief judge and not us, we’re preparing for all possibilities by searching for a silver lining.
Certainly voir dire and closing arguments before Feig Rosenthal got a lot better today, at least from a defense perspective. During jury selection, there’s always a few people who believe an arrest is a sign of guilt. Is there a better example to dispel such a misguided belief than that of the presiding judge, once pictured in a front page New York Times article in handcuffs, having been falsely accused of a DUI? And it would only get better during closing, ladies and gentleman. You can bet on that.
In any event, if Pete Weinstein wants to bring Feig Rosenthal back, he’ll most likely be hearing from Howard Finkelstein first. So hold off on working up your new shtik before we hear from the public defender. No need to waste your energy, after all …
Coming Soon – BSO official judicial bumper car video; Weinstein’s Waterloo?; Welcome back, Mary!