Wednesday, May 31, 2006


NEWS FLASH: SLOM CELEBRATES AS OPPOSITION WITHDRAWS!!! This occurred just while we were laboring away at the post below which remains unchanged despite the withdrawal.



The Miami Herald reported in a front page local section article today that Judge Slom believes suspended judicial assistant, and political “Juanabee” D’Arce’s recruitment of a lawyer to run against him is a result of Slom speaking with D’Arce’s boss- Judge Ivan Hernandez with an H (not the circuit Judge Ivan Fernandez) about an alleged anti-semitic slur D’Arce uttered.

What was NOT mentioned in the Herald article was that the alleged anti-semitic slur was against Judge Steve Leifman. Judge Leifman also has opposition by former magistrate “Great Cesar’s Ghost” Juan Gonzalez, who just happens to have hired D’Arce to run his “Trinity” campaign.

Judge Slom has opposition from “Little Ms. Muffin” Armenteros-Chavez, who was in the unenviable position of being quoted in the Herald that she could not give out her phone number “without her husband’s permission.” So far the political expertise of D’Arce is really paying off- NOT.

Little Ms. Muffin is not off to a great start in showing her judicial decision making ability. No word on whether Armenteros-Chavez’s mother has given her permission to attend campaign events after her 9PM bed-time. And this is the woman D’Arce has recruited to run against Judge Slom- a respected prosecutor and former Chief Of County Court, and the current County Court Administrative Judge for the Criminal Division.

Just like Jose “Dine and dash” Velis, we invite Armenteros-Chavez, and Juan Gonzalez to state on our fair blog just what qualifications they have beyond their last name that makes them believe they would be a better Judge than the one they are trying to replace. So far, all three have been silent (although in defense of Armenteros-Chavez, there is no proof that her Husband has given her permission to use the internet.)

We also STRONGLY URGE Armenteros-Chavez and Juan Gonzalez to state on our fair blog whether they will continue to employ Mr. D’Arce in light of the allegations about his rather out-dated and racist views of the world.

Finally, if these two judicial candidates do not address the issue of their employment of a possible racist/anti-semite, then Rumpole makes the following call to all criminal defense attorneys of good conscience:

If disaster strikes and either (or both) of these two judicial “Juanabees” become Judges, then every defense attorney should file a motion to recuse on every single case before these two for the entire six years they serve on the bench.

In short, these two judicial candidates should be SHUNNED by their colleagues on the bench, and the lawyers who appear before them. Shine the cold hard light of truth and justice on these two and they should wilt in embarrassment. Much like the event when the entire body of the Cuban Bar Association stood up and turned their backs when Judicial candidate Jonathan Schwartz (who had filed to ran against Judge Scott Silverman) stood up to address the CBA several years ago, Rumpole calls for a similar en mass act by the entire Dade County Bar.

In light of Mr. D’Arce’s possible racist views, and in light of his threats against the judiciary, we are reminded of the quote of Sir Edmund Burke:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

D’Arce, by targeting excellent judges with candidates that he believes can win based solely on their Hispanic sur-names has already shown that he meets the definition of a racist, whether or not he made the alleged anti-semitic remarks attributed to him.

D’Arce has also shown that he believes he can intimidate Judges.

A strong and independent judiciary requires that D’Arce’s candidates be soundly beaten at the polls this September.

Of course, our policy is that Mr. D'Arce is invited to post a response to these charges which will be posted without any edits. Judge Slom recently gave an elegant response to a small tempest in a tea pot that arose around him during the legislative session. And Judges Larry Schwartz and Sheldon Schwartz have also used the blog to address issues involving their courtrooms and campaigns.

See you in court.

PS. What’s with that picture of D’Arce in the Herald in what appears to be a federal inmate’s jump-suit? Karma?


Anonymous said...

I may not like D'Arce, but I can tell you the guy is not a racist, he has close ties with many people of all backgrounds, Jewish included. This is all a bunch of crap.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole you are so biased. What has D'Arce done to you?

...Oh, I forget, he went to your house on a Sunday.

Anonymous said...

and again, the question will NEVER be answered by these cowardly candidates - what are their qualifications and why are they running in the seats they have filed in?


Rumpole said...

No...and we are commenting on what the Herald reported. You can defend him..or he can defend himself. If his recruitment of candidates based on their race and their race alone does not fit the definition of racism, then you are reading the wrong dictionary. Doesn't it bother you that he would run a candidate against a judge based just on the candidate's race, and not their ability? We have clients that go before these judges, and that bothers us a whole hell of a lot.

Johnnycakes said...

Rump: at least change a little bit of the identical conversation we had today in the pickle barrel...right down to the orange jumpsuit.sheesh.

Anonymous said...

In that old Herald article which listed the Judges that have actually hired D'Arce. None of the current candidates have hired him as far as I know, and last election I think he got non-Hispanic Judges to the bench. This is why I believe Rumpole, that the Herald is biased because it is being brainwashed by the whining of Leifman and Slom. And they're using Faber as their weapon.

Rumpole said...

johnycakes...whaat?who are you and what makes you think you spoke with us, especially since we were in trial in another county this morning, if we cared to prove that sort of thing, which we don't.

Anonymous said...

Really Rumpole you slay me......When I saw the picture of D'(F)arce on the internet I about pee'd my pants. What was this man doing in "Inmate Orange"?

Its his fate I tell ya.

8 bucks to park said...

Rumpole - the "trial in broward thing" is getting old

youre not in trial
and youre not in broward
broward lawyers dont go to trial

Anonymous said...

What would Slom and Leifman whine about if John Smith had filed against them--it looks like they are playing the religious card trying to gain sympathy. Why can't any attorney file against any Judge. Remember this is not Broward County!

Anonymous said...

Funny idiots. When September 6th comes, Rumple and many others will be in deep trouble for talking so much smack.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. What would D'Arce go to jail for? What has he done that all the other Judges and candidates or politicos have not done? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Armentero's Husband is a Police Officers fools!

Rumpole said...

never said broward...and we don't care who you think we are...but we do admit that we tailor our posts based on our opinions and the well written requests that come emailing out way. It is just possible that whomever you were chatting with over danish at au bon pain fired an email our way, some of the thoughts of which we used. We can say this: look at the previous post- 99 comments, most about D'arce, and we got about 24 emails about D'Arce that were not also posts. So think before you accuse...or just accuse..a few lawyers bear the brunt of being accused of being ol'rump, and despite the pain of having to share the glory of our insightful comments, we happily labour in anonymity, chuckling at everyone's misguided attempts to ID us. Never gonna happen. When we started, Brian the Bouncer and our favorite federal blogger David O Markus confidently predicted to the media that we would soon be outed. And that was in December of 05. Hehehehehe. One thing is for sure...we're just a bit too smart to mouth off to someone in the AM, and print it in the PM. But nice try.

Anonymous said...

In that old Herald article which listed the Judges that have actually hired D'Arce. None of the current candidates have hired him as far as I know, and last election I think he got non-Hispanic Judges to the bench. This is why I believe Rumpole, that the Herald is biased because it is being brainwashed by the whining of Leifman and Slom. And they're using Faber as their weapon.

Anonymous said...

Any comments on that Rumpole? Captain (our facts guy?)

Rumpole said...

If Armentero's husband is a police officer, then she and her political handler sured looked stupid in the Herald and they did a really poor job of conveying why she could not give out her phone number. In politics, impression is everything and she and D'Arce blew it. Plus, say what you want about her, but our view is that our favourite Herald Scribe Oh Susanah is safe enough to trust with a phone number.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody stop to realize that there is nothing wrong with being Hispanic and wanting to run for Judge and realize that since almost all sitting Judges are White that you would inevitably be forced to run in a seat currently occupied by a non Hispanic Judge?


Anonymous said...

I am confused, Mr. (or is it Ms. Faber) is a Public Defender and he wanted D'Arce fired without a finding of guilty or any formal charges. What happened to the Constitution Faber? You are showing the type of fool you are and how much of a looser attorney you really are. Aside from that, you are no better than the Dynamic Duo which you are all on a vendetta.

By the way, word on the street is that your wife makes all the money and you are her Biatch. Word on the street is that you drive a crappy auto while she drives the Lexus and spend her monies. What say you anti Foreign War Veteran candidate?

Anonymous said...

Rump, you are anti-Hispanic and the type of person who things filing against the majority is a anti-sematic thing. Why do you hate D'Arce?

Anonymous said...


I also agree- Ms. Faber is a hypocrite public defender, very poor judgment on his part to have spoken in the Herald the way he did.

Rumpole said...

to 5:23: McWhorter isn't white; Mills Francis isn't white and they have opposition. Orlando Prescott got opposition last time he was up, and he is african american as well. But it is clear D'Arce is targeting Judges who aren't hispanic with candidates who are hispanic (and not very qualified candidates at that). That is odious, pure and simple. Funny how D'Arce didn't get invoved in the Pando race (and for the record, Rumpole will be voting for Pando.)
There is nothing wrong with runing against a judge if the Judge has problems and the candidate is qualified. As attorneys don't we want the best qualified judges to be on the bench? Does any attorney believe that Judge Hernandez or Fernandez would not sentence a defendant to jail who deserved to go to jail just because the defendant is hispanic? Of course not. So the race of the judge is completely insignificant as opposed to the judge's ability to do a good job. These judges, even county court judges, can wreck a person's life. And we feel better when the judge who is making that decision has some experience like a decade in the PD's office or the SAO behind them.

Down-n-out in Eff-hotashell-ay said...

Don't stoop to their level old Barley my chap! You have given the bloggernauts enough justification for your contempt for this fool D'Ar(s)e and the whole ridiculous election system.

Anonymous said...


1. uses this very blog to campaign;
2. is an anti-semite who believes that only hispanics should be in judicial positions;
4. epitomizes the banana republic tactics used by miami politicos (tactics which are scoffed at nationwide, by the way); and
5. heard on the campaign trail with george (or is it jorge?)and ivan telling all voters to "vote cuban" like they are lemmings.

i find d'arce and his cronies to be an insult to the electorate.

Rumpole said...

D'Arce is accused of making an anti-semitic remark. That needs to be explored. If he made a remark about an afircan american, we'd feel the same way. When the judge in broward made anti- hispanic remarks and another judge started calling immigration, we roasted those judges but good. read our posts. we do not tolerate any racism in any form. D'Arce needs to account for his remark. His decision to run hispanic candidates is racist. It is a decision based on race. See this definition:
"Judging an individual based solely on his or her racial affiliation." at this web site:

Any decision should be based on the value of the individual not the race. Jeeze...if you had any idea of the significance of our email address you would begin to understand our desire to champion the abilities of the individual over the collective. But apparently lacking any knowledge of literature, you just plog on in your clouded little world.

Rumpole said...

One more thing about us being anti-hispanic- we don't like d'arce for his racist views and what he stands for. We have tried cases before Ivan Hernandez when he was in the justice building. We think he has shown exceptionally poor judgment in hiring and not firing D'Arce. But we also think Hernandez is a fine judge. We're going to vote for him, and unless he does something real stupid, he's going to receive the highly coveted RUMPOLE ENDORSEMENT FOR REELECTION. So there.

Rumpole said...

PSS: (we're really on a roll now) How do you know we aren't hispanic? Or is your view of hispanics so limited and poor that you can't possibly conceive of a hispanic who would be offended by D'Arce's tactics? Do you really believe all Hispanics are so insecure that they will vote just for a Hispanic candidate against any other candidate regardless of the merits of the respective candidates? We don't. And if you do, you should be ashamed. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

If you are Hispanic you can still be anti-hispanic.

Bouncer Smith said...

Brian...enough already!!!!!(LOL)

Anonymous said...

Funny, the anti-Semitic news are all new and coming out now. There seems to be no finding of guilt aside from a desperate pair of non-working Judges who are now crying to the press. If Judge Slom and Judge Leifman are the Administrators and talked to D'Arce under their capacity as Administrators, why was he not fired? Why did Chief Farina not say a word and why is Hernandez being targeted?

I know why, it is REGB gossip. Who is this Hispanic that made the report and who did this person work for? Give me facts, not fiction.

Furthermore, the Herald reported D’Arce worked on all sorts of campaigns. I remember him working with Harvey Goldstein, Nancy Pollock, Krieger Martin, Mary Jo Francis, and Mary Barzee. This is by far not a list of Hispanics. Why would he be racist now unless you are so desperate that you need any excuse to get media attention and call for the sympathy vote? Why don't we hear about the same whinning Judges who are calling and threatening the Candidates?

I also agree, Faber you are dumber than Dumb and Dumber! Carol, get a divorce!

Anonymous said...

Being anti-Hispanic is just as bad.

The Florida Statutes do not say that a APD or ASA are better than a private lawyer. You just need to be a lawyer, member of the Florida Bar for 5 years and a registered voter of the State of Florida. Oh, and be able to pay the filing fee.

Stop being foolish and tell us why the challengers are not good enough?

Rumpole said...

6:07 makes a good defense of D'Arce. Maybe you should be his attorney.

Why are the challengers not good enough? Some are (just not the ones D'Arce is running at the moment). Wait for the coveted RUMPOLE JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS. All will be explained then. Plus we're still watching and waiting. Maybe one of D'Arce's "juanabees" will do something good and get an endorsement. Maybe we will pose naked on the cover of the new times to reveal our identity. Stranger things have happened.

Edward R. Murrow said...


Armenteros-Chavez drops out of judge's race

Cecilia Armenteros-Chavez announced Wednesday that she had decided to withdraw her candidacy against county judge Sam Slom.
Armenteros-Chavez qualified to run against Slom on May 12. She said Wednesday that she had decided last week to instead run for one of four open seats that were recently created by the legislature. Qualifying for those seats will be in July.
''I've decided I'm going to go for one of the open seats in July, feeling that Judge Slom should remain in his present seat,'' she said.
''I'm appreciative of her decision to withdraw,'' Slom said.
Armenteros-Chavez denied allegations reported in Wednesday's Miami Herald that she had been recruited to run against Slom by a political consultant and judicial assistant who has had run-ins with Slom.
''(Juan) D'Arce didn't recruit me,'' she said. ``I'm my own person and I decided to run for that seat. Maybe it's just as well to run for a different seat because I don't want these issues to be the focus of the election.''
D'Arce is under investigation by the State Attorney's Office for allegations he campaigned on government time. His attorney, Henry Ferro, denied his client had done any politicking on the job.

Armenteros-Chavez said...

"I'm a little tea pot
short and stout
here is my handle
here is my spout
when I run for Judge
I scream and shout
vote for me ....I have a hispanic last name!!!"

Anonymous said...

Faber, thanks for putting your foot in your mouth. No wonder you are still at juvenile court. Prediction, you will loose this year and never be able to run in the future since you have proven you as a PD have jumped to judgement and even against the Florida Supreme Court. Sapingo Fuleco.

Anonymous said...

Jonny Cakes...I just read the string...its not me and we didn't talk about this except for the orange jump suit...sorry.

Anonymous said...

Is that John Amarantos, Esq. in the picture with D'Arce? The plot thickens!

Anonymous said...

Orange is a Chango Color you ding bats. Stop messing with the powers from beyond. D'Arce is a Santero and will turn you into Frogs. He is not working in a Botanica in Hialeah near the Hialeah Court House and doing many trabajos on those who share love for him. Have you never seen the stuff he wears on his next and the possions, coco nuts and saints he kept at the office as well as his tatoos with Chango, Santa Barbara, San Lazaro, San Miguel San Judas Tadeo and Jesus with Maria. Add to that his love for Haitians, Blacks and Jamaicans and Oh My God. That is serious. Dios Mio, Ache Chango! Ayudame Por Favor.

Anonymous said...

Juan Gonzalez for Judge? What in the hell is going on around here? If anyone ever thought that Margolius was a little erratic (although he is one of the smartest judges ever) then wait until Juan G. takes the bench. He's got the fury of a crack smoking pittbull coupled with the mental acuity of a fourth grader. Atleast Margolius could articulate his contempt for the process and demean the court and opposing counsel with some sharp semblance of rational thought. The man sweats, screams and paces all over the place (very loudly) and makes all of no sense in the process. Ask any ASA about their experience with this nutjob and they'll tell you that he is a disgrace to the profession, and his mindless animosity toward opposing counsel only does a huge disservice to his clients. How he still has a license to practice law is beyond me. It is truly frightening that his candidacy could be given any greater thought than that required to throw trash in the garbage can. Imagine Arriola courtside at tonight's Heat game after Shaq and D Wade get ejected for no reason. Then imagine that Arriola had been pumping PCP through his veins for two hours nonstop before the game, while hitting of a crack pipe in the bathroom during halftime. That's Gonzalez on a good day. Sweet Jesus - don't let it happen!

CAPTAIN said...


It was just last night, at 8:28 PM, that on this very BLOG site, I reported to you that:

"There is also a large push by the "BIG" politicos to try and get some of the challengers to the incumbent judges, to withdraw from those races and file in an open seat during that week. More to come......."

Well, less than 24 hours later, we see our first candidate withdrawl. Today was the first and you can expect that there may be others, like “Little Ms. Muffin” Armenteros-Chavez, who will be urged to withdraw from incumbent races and file in the four new seats during July 17-21.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Is that legal? Can you push someone out of a democratic judicial race? Mr. Alberto Gonzalez, can you help since KFR will not investigate since she is affraid to loose her job?

in favor of faber said...

Rump - you lost me at the Hernandez endorsement.

Anonymous said...

John Amarantos was just there supporting Judge Mills Francis; There is no connection between Msrs. Amarantos and D'Arce.

Anonymous said...

Orange a Chango color?? What shit!!! Any self respecting Santero or even Miamian with Yoruba connections knows the color of Chango is RED!!!! Just another reason this blog SUCKS!!! RUMPOLE you tried...I loved your intention, but like they say "The road to ehll is paved with good intentions" I'm sorry ... I'm a good attorney (ask my clients', opposing counsel I've tried cases against, and judges I've tried cases in front of), hispanic, female and a Native Miamian. Reading this blog for six months proves to me that few real thinkers (except you and the Captain) read or add to this blog. Therefore, concluding that I am a thinker. I, too, will do like Jason Gray, and blog no more. It makes the Miami Criminal Bar look bad...Sorry...out.

mungo jerry said...

All together now (nosotros)

Why can't weeeeee be friends?

Why can't we be friends?

Why can't we be friends.

Why can't we - be friends

Anonymous said...

Regardless of Juan D'Arce and his little war with Steve Leifman and Sam Slom, these two incumbents deserve opposition, though not from people like Juan Gonzalez and Cecilia Armenteros. D'Arce's mistake was to pit candidates against the duo out of anger and revenge, when the lack of judicial qualifications of the incumbents was more than ample reason for them to pick up opposition.

I don't know how a criminal defense lawyer like you, Rumpole, can rationally defend the duo, given the way that they lean towards the State, the way they charge exhorbitant fines and costs for minor violations, and the way they try their best to deny your motions to dismiss.

Anonymous said...

Why are they so unqualified? Who is the Judge? Have you not read that there is no real standard. And, if they are not qualified then you are saying that they should never run for Judgeship as there will always be a better candidate unless hell freezes over and they are the only two lawyers left around?

$ where your mouth is said...

listen to you - i bet very few if any criminal defense lawyers give money to any of these clowns out of fear - how bout strapping on a set and ponying up some coin for these unqualified morons if you're so supportive of them becoming a judge

talk talk talk

Anonymous said...

I am saying they should never run, ever. Yes, that's what IM sayin - ya heah

Anonymous said...

anyone know if the heat juan?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

instead of talking so much trash on this blog, you go back to the law books,because you asa's need some brushing up!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mr. Mazzella, yeah, you the Inspector General. Leave Mr. John Rivera alone. He is a good guy. As I see it, if Mr. Rivera did anything wrong then Richard Kuper did the same when KFR hired him to work as a lawyer ;-) and had no cases, no trials and kept showing up around town giving pro-KFR speeches and certificates. Funny how we Mr. Rivera is always targeted, but never anyone in KFR's office.

Anonymous said...

I heard ex Hialeah Mayor Julio Martinez was at the elections office on May 12th as well. Is he not a Baillif for Judge Schwartz and on County time? Still a Politico is he...

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bronwyn Miller cancelled court today to do hang out at the Elections Department as well? Does anybody know?

Anonymous said...

According to the Anger and Revenge logic, then School Board Member Frank Bolaños' filing to go against State Senator Alex Villalobos is a Crime that deserves jail time. I mean, Governor Jeb Bush is talked to have urge for someone to run against him for messing his education plan, then took away his Majority Leader capacity and got Bolaños to file against him.

Does this story sound just like the Court story? Sure seems like the same things, but with different players. Is KFR looking into Bolaños and Jeb yet?

Anonymous said...


Migna Sanchez-Lorenz is endorsed by Bennett Brummer who is actively helping her unseat Shelly. So, all for all of you who love BHB, please share the love. Birds of a feather, fly and stick together.

Anonymous said...

Why does no one complain about Jackie Scola using her husband to get on the bench or Shelley Kravitz being named on her husbands (Jose Garcia Pedrosa's) campaign literature when he ran for Mayor of the City of Miami or Judge Steve Leifman getting his mother a job in the North District Court House by using his office or Judge Farina having his wife employed, his wife's father employed by the Court as well or why attorneys get a 30 day period for their clients to pay tickets and not the normal working person who cannot afford a lawyer and to add insult to injury they are made/forced to pay a "Payment Plan Fee" which targets the poor? By the way, fines for tickets are excessive and seem to be higher in the branch courts for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Hey 12:58, take a sleeping pill. You complained about more subjects in that one paragraph than the HEAT missed free throws tonight.

Why doesn't anyone complain, you did - happy?

Check all your facts before you go complaining. Judge Farina's wife was working in the Miami Dade Court system as a court certified interpreter and as a court approved mediator long before she and Judge Farina wed. Joelle is an extremely well qualified professional who does not need any man, let alone the Chief Judge, to bolster her qualifications or get her a job.

Now go to sleep.

Kevin said...

I have known Juan D'Arce for a few years now. I am a Jewish-American-Hispanic and not once has race or religion ever been an issue. Any one who knows Juan more personally would know right away that this is just an outright lie (Juan Being a Racist). Juan has been to my house several times to celebrate different Holidays (both Jewish and Gentile), and not once have I felt uncomfortable, intimidated, or even demoralized by him. I thought it would be fairly obvious right now that someone in power is trying to get Juan, Judge Hernandez, and many other people in hot water for their own personal gain, and nothing else. Both Juan D'arce and Judge Hernandez are extremely valuable assets to our community and the entire Judicial System. Now we just need to uncover the mystery of why someone, on the internet, who will not reveal his real name, truely hates D'Arce so much.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone not hear the cry of an appointment and merit retention system ...Only a banana republic elects their judges. That's why we've wasted so much time on this D'Arce thing. We're beating a dead horse.D'Arce is not the problem the fact that judges are elected like politicians instead of jurists. Anyone else agree???

Anonymous said...

I heard Judge Miller was at the Biscayne Bay Luncheon yesterday. Judge shouldn't you be working your calenders instead of campaigning 9 to 5?

Anonymous said...

which Biscayne Bay Luncheon is that?

If you are speaking about the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Luncheon, she was not there.

Anonymous said...

I am embarrassed that Rumpole claims to be a Defense Attorney. Since you have so much time writing this gossip column, you must have little to no practice. It is curious that the defense attorneys you rail against seem to be the one's with the most successful practice. Most blogs largely unsubstantiated rumors. Here, however, you promote bald-faced lies and character assassination. Get a life. Perhaps your growth was stunted in high school and you need to attack others to make you and your supposed clique cool. Sad, because this kind of a blog could have been constructive instead of a forum of invective and bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Hey, where is Julie Kay? Should she not be investigating or is her Editor and the Miami Herald Editor friends with Leifman, Slom and the rest?

Sorry to say it, but that is the rumor as to how things are spunned on the DBR and Herald. Which would explain the following:

Whatever happened to the the Florida Bar News report in which Judge Bagley and Maxine Cohen Lando stated they have been extorted in the past? Surely not an anonymous claim, but no follow-up.

Anonymous said...

Let's create a new Blog were there is no bias a la Rumple style. Will keep you posted or vice versa.

Sam I Am said...

You cannot condemn D'Arce without condemning his employer, Judge Hernandez.

In any event, all of this griping about ethnic politics is a red-herring. The real issue is whether a court employee should recieve remuneration for assisting in the unseating of a judge. This is what D'Arce is doing... he is using his insider status to earn money. Whether the actual "work" is on or off the job is irrelevant. If D'Arce quit as a JA, he could push anyone he wanted and criticise anyone he wanted.

Again, his politics and ethnicity are irrelevant. His ethics, or lack thereof, certainly matter.

Anonymous said...

A real blog where real issues were discussed would be a welcome addition.

Anonymous said...

All this griping about ethnicity. What a waste. Guess what? We live in a latino community and therefore latinos get elected... welcome to Democracy. And who are the supposedly incompetent Latino judges. Jimenez? Pereyra-Shuminer? Reyes? Arzola? To be a Judge is to work for nothing with little time off and few rewards. Not to mention the bizarre way people start treating you when you were a robe.

Anonymous said...

Professor Joseph W. Little offered the following:


Proposed Judicial Election and Retention Reform Amendment

Here is a working draft of a constitutional amendment regarding the election of Florida's judges. It's basic features are:

1. All judges and justices elected by popular elections.
2. All elections from single member elections districts.
3. All judges and justices elected for one eight year term in a
particular office with no eligibility to serve an immediately
successive term in the same office.

It sounds brilliant. Let's make this the new law. Any State Representatives and State Senators willing to sponsor this bill?

We need it! Here is his information.

For questions, contact:

Joseph W. Little
Professor of Law

Box 117625 / Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
e-mail: Little@law.ufl.edu
352.273.0954 / Fax: 352.392.3005

Anonymous said...

Sam, what is the insider status of a JA? As I see it, JAs are dumb, uninformed and thus far no information has come from anything within the Court House, except from Slom and Leifman who have shared personnel information with the world. Smart comment there buddy.

There is no inside anything in the Court. All offices operate separately and if there is something that can be complaint about is when Jackie Scola decided to become a Judge when her husband Bob Scola was up for re-election.

Make some sense or at least, elaborate.

Anonymous said...

If I may, sounds like the true insider in all of this is Anti-Woman JNC member Hector Lombada who is working on many campaigns, serves as Treasurer for some campaigns, offers possible appointments ( right Migna ;-] ) to the bench, goes on the radio supporting candidates, meets with them to offer them support to leave seats all while being an appointed member of the JNC by the Governor of the State of Florida. Now, that sounds like a conflict with huge insider status.

Anonymous said...

Lets investigate Hector Loncaca!!!

Anonymous said...

alvarez don't you have a traffic ticket to fight today? stuck inside on a rainy day with nothing to do but put out the negative miller comments? stop using this blog to negative campaign. she isn't doing that. we know you can only win by using negative campaign tactics and do not even have any qualifications - where are your cards and posters and website and what about that speech the other night wherein you could only mumble that you were qualified becuase of your traffic ticket fighting expertise. get off the blog and try to think of some other reasons other than the latin last name and the traffic tickets for which voters should choose you.

heard on campaign trail, " i am more than qualified to be a judge - i have fought more than 1,200 traffic tickets"

i know i want you to hear my pip case alvarez - all that traffic stuff really makes you qualified...

question from weeks ago - what are your qualifications alvarez?

still waiting for your answer...

you have time to post your snide miller comments so post your qualifications.

inquiring minds said...

What's the verbatim text of the remark by D'Arce that got Leifman and Slom so riled up? Inquiring minds want to know...

Anonymous said...

HEY D'Arce get your little buddy Alvarez to pony up the $29.95 for a Website so that this blog can be used for purposes other than his free negative campaign against Judge B. Miller.

Anonymous said...

What does the PBA do that they would need additional "security" at their office?

Anonymous said...

Not every comment made on this blog has campaign/political references. If a judge cancelled their calendar without notice to anyone, I think that's fair game to put on the blog without accusations that it came as a "vindictive plot" by the judge's opponent. Same way we complain about Arzola, Thomas, Lindsay, KFR, BHB, etc, etc. None of them are up this time around. What's the conspiracy theory as to why we complain against them?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dear Juan and George aka Jorge:

Calendar was canceled three months ago. One attorney showed up.

Stop using the blog to further your political career.

That's what websites are used for...

Anonymous said...

HEY D'Arce get your little buddy Alvarez to pony up the $29.95 for a Website so that this blog can be used for purposes other than his free negative campaign against Judge B. Miller.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what was that? ..... more investigations to come at the County courthouses! Invovling incumbent Judges! Stay tunned.

Anonymous said...

Funny I heard the same thing this Morning.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I know your identity. Too many Ayn Rand references throughout the years.

Anonymous said...

Many statements have suggested "promises"by at least one member of the J.N.C.to candidates being appointed,apparently once they loose an election.Yes,it is probably inappropriate and possibly illegal.So if such information is available make it public.
Yes,it is unethical for a person on the J.N.C.to serve as consultant,campaign manager etc.for a candidate;yet such is occuring in Dade County.Perhaps those with this information should notify the J.Q.C.,the Governor,and the various board (JEAC)in the state and our own county.
Judges or candidates who are violating these canons,ethics and laws should not be on the bench,esp-ecially such flagrant violation.
But each of us owes a duty to speak up.Don't should suggest and name persons unless you are sure:but if you are sure of the information you owe a duty to the community and yourself to advise and bring the matter public(i.e.Lamban and "Migna"etc.etc.etc.)
If such information is incorrect or false do not put the suggestions on the blog.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No worries. She's probably reading this right......NOW!

Anonymous said...

It should be illegal to talk about Hispanics since they have been oppressed and persecuted like dogs. Thus, stop!

Anonymous said...

Slom bullies his opponent out of the race. Nice. I heard he had a stable of judges calling Armenteros' bosses and "encourage" her to withdraw. And the bullshit with the Herald? I'm sure we'll see Susannah and Slom at Joe's stonecrabs sometime soon, with Slom paying the huge bill. Makes no sense to get out of a two person race and jump into an unkown race that could have three persons running for the same seat.

Anonymous said...

I concur.

That race needs a review by the Ethics Commission, the FDLE and the FBI.

She should have never dropped that race. I hope she is able to find a way to stay in the race if she can.

(Fingers Cross!)

Anonymous said...

Only in Miami can a sitting Judge go on Hispanic radio and tell Hispanic listeners not to vote based on ethnicity and then cry discrimination as well as racism. If a Hispanic went on English radio and said the same, they would be accused of being anti-Semitic as well as lynched.

What a double standard. If you do not believe me, listen to the recordings of Slom and Leifman on Hispanic radio. Thanks Ruby Feria.

Anonymous said...

More reason to appoint rather than elect, am I the only one who sees this??? Come on guys that ways we could all complain about the real issues like bad rulings, incompetence, etc.

Anonymous said...

The only bad rulings and incompetence I've seen lately come from judges who have been appointed.

I Hate D'Arce said...

I used to work for the Clerks Office and Juan is such a prick to work with. I hope he gets it good.

Anonymous said...

Saying you were a Clerk speaks volumes for how smart you may be. Tu turu...

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out this blog.......Slom, is Rumpole. He also updates this blog on County time.

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out this blog.......Slom, is Rumpole. He also updates this blog on County time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an intelligent idea. He has lots of time at work and at home to do it. Well, he has more time at work since he does nothing all day.

Anonymous said...

Is Slom back to doing a nothing docket again now that his opponent has dropped out. What a lazy ass. He watches television all day.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Slom actually has Comcast Cable in his office to make sure he knows what important cases are coming up for television exposure. Can anyone verify this as well as who pays for the cable he watches?

j stalin said...

Miles de peruanos residentes en el sur de la Florida acudieron ayer al campus de Kendall del Miami-Dade College para emitir su voto durante la segunda ronda de las elecciones presidenciales, durante una jornada electoral poco concurrida.

Según el cónsul general de Perú en Miami, Jorge Román Morey, sólo cerca del 40 por ciento de los 29,000 electores inscritos en el consulado acudieron ayer a las urnas para escoger a su nuevo presidente.

''Ha sido una jornada lenta, y ha habido muchas ausencias'', señaló el diplomático, quien agregó que 13 de las 135 mesas electorales que deberían haberse instalado no pudieron abrirse por falta de personal.

Muchos votantes notaron la falta de movimiento en el recinto, especialmente cuando se compara con la asistencia a las elecciones generales del 9 de abril.

''Durante las elecciones de abril había muchísima gente y tuve que esperar mucho tiempo para votar'', declaró Claudia Galiargo, quien se trasladó desde Weston para votar. ``Esta vez llegué y en cuestión de minutos voté''.

El sufragio es una obligación para los peruanos, y no ejercer el deber del voto acarrea una multa de $34, o de $42 si se niega a concurrir como miembro de una mesa electoral. Sin embargo, agregó el cónsul, en Perú se utiliza la autoridad policial para obligar a los ciudadanos a que cumplan con su deber, pero ese poder no se transfiere fuera de Perú.

Las personas que no pudieron votar porque su mesa no se instaló, tendrán que acudir al consulado para pedir un acta que indique oficialmente que no pudo votar por falta de mesa.

Efraín Briceño acudió a votar, pero se encontró con que su mesa no había sido instalada.

''Me parece un poco de dejadez. Ahora me quedé sin votar y tengo que perder un día en el consulado'', comentó Briceño.

Por otro lado, algunos votantes agradecieron que su mesa no haya sido instalada. ''Esto por lo menos me salvó de votar'', declaró un elector quien viajó desde Coral Springs para ejercer su voto, y prefirió no dar su nombre. ``No tenemos otra alternativa que escoger un presidente, pero es como escoger entre el sida y el cáncer''.

Reflejando la ambivalencia que muchos peruanos ya han expresado, algunos votantes prefirieron no votar ni por Alan García ni por Ollanta Humala.

''Yo recuerdo cuando Alan García fue presidente y dejó el país en la ruina. No estoy conforme con ninguno de los candidatos'', acotó Katherine Aranibar, de Palm Beach Gardens.

José de Voto y su esposa Mariela de Voto, aunque no apoyaban a ninguno de los candidatos, prefirieron darles sus votos a García.

``Si por mi fuera, no votaría por ninguno, pero no quiero que salga el otro, dijo la señora.

Se estima que unos 170,000 peruanos están inscritos para votar en todo los Estados Unidos, del alrededor de 1 millón que residen en este país, principalmente en Nueva York, Nueva Jersey y la Florida, según cálculos extraoficiales. El consulado peruano en Miami también instaló 15 mesas en Orlando, y tres mesas en Puerto Rico.

j stalin said...

Poco antes del mediodía de hoy, el noroeste de Miami se cubrió de sangre.

Tres sujetos enmascarados, vestidos de negro y fuertemente armados, emboscaron un vehículo en el que viajaban cuatro jóvenes y los acribillaron a balazos, causando la muerte de tres de ellos y dejando un herido grave.

En un intenso operativo, más de una decena de patrulleras acudieron al lugar, y agentes de la Policía de Miami acordonaron el área de la 1100 NW 39 Street, donde se produjo el violento tiroteo, mientras lo detectives de Homicidios comenzaban a recopilar evidencias de lo que podría ser signo de un recrudecimiento en la guerra de gangas.

''Cuatro muchachos jóvenes, de la raza negra, que viajaban en un van Honda gris fueron emboscados por dos vehículos, un Nissan Sentra blanco con cristales ahumados y otro Nissan Sentra rojo o marrón'', dijo el portavoz policial de Miami Willy Moreno.

Como mudo testigo del terrible ataque, el van lucía más de 30 impactos de bala, 17 de ellos en el parabrisas. ''Estaba al costado norte de la calle a muy corta distancia del expressway'', afirmó el teniente Bill Schwartz, portavoz del Departamento de Policía de Miami.

Cuando la policía llegó al lugar, dos de los cuatro jóvenes ya estaban muertos.

Uno de los fallecidos estaba en el asiento trasero, con un envase de té frío a sus pies. El otro estaba tendido en la hierba.

Un tercero falleció en el Centro de Trauma del Jackson Memorial, mientras que la cuarta víctima seguía en estado crítico ayer por la tarde en el mismo recinto médico.

Los heridos trataron, aparentemente, de escapar a pie, porque había huellas de sangre en el pavimento, dijo la policía, que hasta el cierre de esta edición no había revelado sus identidades.

Tras la emboscada, los sujetos huyeron en los dos vehículos, en direcciones opuestas.

''Estamos buscando estos dos vehículos, recopilando información sobre todos los carros involucrados en este incidente y buscando a los ocupantes'', agregó Moreno.

Aunque la policía dijo desconocer si se trata de un ajuste de cuentas entre pandillas o un caso relacionado con el narcotráfico, vecinos dijeron que el año pasado hubo un atentado similar en la misma esquina.

Anonymous said...

Your are Excellent. And so is your site! Keep up the good work. Bookmarked.

Anonymous said...

Case #SC00-2337 and 01-1326-CIV-MOORE have nothing to do with anything here. As well, the Court shall keep proceedings confidential, but the litigant can write whatever he/she wants since it is about him. Get your law straight. Also, case SC06-505 has not been concluded. See Supreme Court of Florida web site.

Lastly, since this individual always goes pro se, it is he writing and responding about his cases. Another case solved, it is Mr. Courtroom junkie who thrives on drama!

Anonymous said...


His Sister's Keeper
Is Darrin McGillis a noble crusader for his late sister's kids, or a courtroom junkie who thrives on drama? Both, actually.
By Lissette Corsa
Article Published Jul 27, 2000

Darrin McGillis doesn't believe his sister committed suicide. On a warm afternoon in January, his eyes beginning to tear, he expresses his skepticism. “No one saw her hanging,” he says, having just ordered a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch at the Oasis Café in Miami Beach, an item not on the menu. In the morning he had attended a hearing and is still dressed in his usual courtroom garb -- a black plaid vintage suit that clashes with his boyish looks and the earthy décor of this Mediterranean restaurant. “There's a break in the ligature mark on her neck,” McGillis explains. “It looks like someone came from behind and she tried to pull on the rope. It's impossible to even tie a knot with that jump rope.” The 33-year-old is speaking about his sister, Wendolyn McGillis, and her boyfriend, Gerald Benge, the man he believes had something to do with her death.
When McGillis swept into dependency Judge Jeri B. Cohen's courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center for the first time on January 9, 1998, a day after Wendolyn's death, he carried with him a black legal briefcase full of documents detailing the troubles that plagued his sister. McGillis says the judge was impressed with his appearance. “She wanted to know what business I was in,” he recalls. The onetime concert promoter describes himself as the machine behind entire arenas full of screaming, prepubescent girls. His sister, in contrast, depended on welfare during most of her adult life, was hooked on cocaine, and in the course of about fourteen years had been emotionally, physically, and sexually abused by the four fathers of her seven children, according to police reports, social workers, and family members. Six of those children are now in Florida state custody, temporarily living with foster parents and various grandparents.

Although he's not seeking to raise all the children himself, Darrin McGillis is determined to make sure they don't end up with any of the dads, particularly Gerald Benge, the last man in his sister's life. That's why he has been in court for well over two years.

The paper trail McGillis has collected on Wendolyn's case, and that of her children, is immense. He seems to know the details of his sister's life better than his own. There is literally little else that occupies his mind or consumes his energy. McGillis has gone from being a concerned brother to an obsessed litigant, shoving his point of view down the system's throat. “He's given up his life,” says Virginia Stanley, an attorney who was briefly involved in the case. But then again, she adds, “maybe he never had one.” Indeed while McGillis's tenacity is impressive, he's no stranger to litigation. He's sued six different people and entities, racked up about twenty out-of-court settlements concerning civil disputes, and has threatened to sue on at least thirty occasions. He seems to thrive on legal battles and courtroom drama.

“We believe that this was not a suicide,” McGillis expressed on that first day in court back in 1998, after stating his name and relation to the deceased. “The boyfriend [Gerald Benge] had something to do with it.” Lucy Piniero, a lawyer for Miami-Dade's Department of Children and Families (DCF), the child-welfare agency that wants to reunite Benge with his children, protested. “For the record I am going to object to him being heard, unless Your Honor has specific questions,” Piniero said, outraged at the accusation. “He has no standing.... We have some very serious concerns about the family dynamics, about him....”

McGillis's mother and stepfather, Janet and George Chaulklin, stood silently against a side wall, near the courtroom's entrance (they have temporary custody of one of Wendolyn's children). They had just flown in from Las Vegas and were still in shock; Janet Chaulklin had thrown up on the freeway as the family drove to court that Friday afternoon. A total of about ten lawyers, caseworkers, and protective investigators from the DCF shuffled papers and swarmed around the judge. About fifteen people sat in the courtroom gallery, three rows of hardwood benches in front of which this traumatic and tangled case would unfold.

McGillis is not only fighting to keep the children away from the fathers, he's also battling the DCF. The department's job, McGillis says, was to protect his sister and her children. He claims it didn't. Despite having spoon-fed the DCF with details about Wendolyn's hardships and potentially violent ex-boyfriend, McGillis says the state agency acted negligently by not referring her to counseling and by allowing Benge to live with her while she was dependent on government assistance.

Benge, a lanky blond man, told police he had discovered Wendolyn's body hanging from a yellow jump rope tied to a wire shelf in the upstairs bedroom closet of her apartment at around 11:20 a.m. on January 8, 1998. Benge, the father of the 32-year-old's two youngest children, told police he took her down and then ran to a neighbor's apartment and called 911. In the meantime her four-year-old daughter, Wendolyn's third-youngest child, went upstairs and found her dead mother on the floor.

Benge told police he had argued with Wendolyn earlier that morning and that she had been suicidal for about a month. Yet according to Piniero during the January 9 hearing: “Mom had been doing very well with her kids.” The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Toxicology reports revealed that before dying, Wendolyn was high on cocaine. Benge denied knowing anything about his mate's drug habit, according to Miami-Dade police reports. But according to others, he has used drugs. “He did everything you can think of and then some,” says Charles Scholl, Benge's ex-father-in-law. According to documents from the Department of Human Services in Utah, the couple's first son was born addicted to cocaine.

McGillis is convinced the DCF is partly responsible for his sister's death. He's even filed a wrongful death suit in civil court against the agency. Karen Gievers, a top lawyer from Tallahassee who has won multimillion-dollar cases against the DCF on behalf of kids all over Florida, is representing McGillis. “There are children with no mom, and if the State of Florida contributed to their loss, then I will seek justice for them,” Gievers promises.

McGillis had first reached out to the department when Wendolyn came to Miami in September 1997. He assisted her in drafting a letter to the DCF, which she signed, asking the state's welfare agency to refer her and her children to therapy and waive her welfare-to-work obligations. In the letter Wendolyn also expressed that she feared an unnamed man who had “threatened to kill me and my children if I ever left him, and he is presently looking for me, calling all persons associated with me, including my brother, Darrin McGillis, who is responsible for helping me escape from him with the help of the Salt Lake City Police Department.”

Two months later McGillis had pleaded with Imran Ali, director of the division of family support for the DCF, and Anita Bock, Miami-Dade's former DCF administrator, to intervene on his sister's behalf, something Ali confirmed in court that first day. “Mr. McGillis met with myself and Anita Bock about three weeks ago, and he had shared a lot of information with us,” Ali told the judge.

“They just brushed me off,” McGillis claims. Eventually Gerald Benge managed to locate Wendolyn's whereabouts through a private investigator and began living with her in Section 8 housing, against subsidized housing rules, until her death. Benge turned down a request for an interview.

Charles Auslander, current district administrator for Miami-Dade's DCF, explains that while the agency could not provide a “fortress” for Wendolyn, she at least was receiving economic services, and a protective investigator had been to her home. Furthermore, upon receipt of the September letter, the DCF had referred Wendolyn for a mental examination, but she missed her appointment, says DCF's chief legal counsel Linda Wells. “That's a bunch of crock,” McGillis comments. “They never took action.”

McGillis also has one hell of a conspiracy theory. He believes the DCF is responsible for current criminal charges pending against him for not returning a rental car and for purchasing about $22,000 in computer equipment with a false company name and not paying for it. McGillis asserts both charges are bogus, part of the DCF's plan to get him out of the picture. Alan Soven, his defense lawyer, claims the state agency may have used its clout to influence the charges. “DCF has been trying to stick it to him,” Soven contends. Auslander scoffs at the idea. “There is no cabal against Mr. McGillis,” Auslander says. “If things were organized enough around here to conspire, I would be impressed.”

To say McGillis is persistent in his jabs at the system would be an understatement. “I've advised him not to file so many appeals and to lay low,” says an appeals attorney who asked not to be identified. “He's so emotionally involved with the case that he appeals every order he disagrees with.” Yet, with the calculated determination of a skilled attorney, McGillis has been able to hit more than a few raw nerves.

The high school dropout spends hours researching legal precedents at the University of Miami School of Law library, picks the brains of attorneys whom he befriends, orally argues his own appeals, and has even made case law. He has filed a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) on his own against Benge, even though the DCF plans on reuniting the father with his kids, ages three and five. He has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to remove Judge Jeri Cohen from the dependency case because he thinks she's biased against him. (The high court turned down his request.) McGillis has even filed a bar complaint against DCF attorney Lucy Piniero for allegedly misrepresenting facts in court, though the Florida Bar concluded there had been no misconduct committed by Piniero. He also sued the paternal grandmother of one of the children for slandering him, and won. “He's not laying down,” says attorney Virginia Stanley. “A little gnat like Darrin comes along and points out there's a major screwup, and DCF digs in its heels. They've placed a lot of time and energy in trying to make Darrin look like the most sinister man to walk the Earth. I think it's basically been a smear campaign directed at him.”

Like Stanley, who believes McGillis is right to question Wendolyn's suicide given the history of domestic violence that existed between the mother of seven and Benge, Karl Hall, another attorney familiar with the case, contends McGillis's cynicism has merit. Hall asserts that in juvenile courthouse culture -- where most cases are brought to court by the DCF -- the relatives of minors who become litigants are generally discriminated against by the courts simply because the system is not accustomed to having family members present their cases. “If you're not with the program, then for some reason you're a troublemaker,” says Hall. “That's the problem with Darrin's case; he's not going with the program. The program being whatever the Department of Children and Families says it is.” Adds Stanley: “Darrin's style has cost him dearly.”

Meanwhile the dependency court case that will ultimately decide who gets to keep which of Wendolyn's kids drags on. It's been playing itself out for more than two and a half years. E. Joseph Ryan, Jr., who represented McGillis on an appeal, refers to the case as a black hole. “I wouldn't even begin to speculate where this is going,” Ryan says. McGillis's mother was fed up a long time ago. “It's never going to end. Every little thing is going to be an emergency hearing every time we turn around, and I can't take it any more. I just can't,” she told Cohen during an April 1999 hearing.

The convoluted case has taken on a life of its own. Other lawsuits have sprung from it. From afar the scene is like a dense, enveloping cloud. Even New Times was pulled into the fray when Judge Cohen called an emergency hearing in May to find out if McGillis had leaked court documents to the press. The back-biting, harassment, and legal threats have added more of an edge to a case born from violence. “There's plenty of black humor in this thing,” Ryan comments. “A Hollywood screenwriter could take this and make it into something bizarre, I'm sure. It doesn't seem like it's connected to reality at all.”

And Darrin is the star of the show. He's made friends. “The guy is as good as some lawyers,” Stanley notes. And it seems, a number of enemies. “He doesn't threaten,” says DCF counsel Wells, “he suggests.”

McGillis was named Darrin Hardwick at birth. His teenage mother was six months pregnant with him and already had one-year-old Wendolyn when she married her first husband, Leroy Hardwick. Hardwick wasn't their father, but he gave the children his last name. The young mother spent most of her marriage escaping the abusive relationship, Janet Chaulklin claims. She traveled back and forth between Milwaukee and her hometown of Escanaba, Michigan, near the Canadian border. “I remember living in a small apartment in Escanaba where me and Wendy shared a king-size bed and our mom slept on the couch,” McGillis recalls. The union between the Hardwicks, which had produced no children, ended in divorce after seven years. Darrin and Wendolyn took their mother's maiden name, McGillis.

Peace and stability came to the McGillises in the form of George Chaulklin, Janet's current husband of 26 years. Darrin and Wendolyn McGillis were eight and nine years old respectively when George entered their lives. He was an old friend from Escanaba, population 3000.

The Chaulklins made Milwaukee their home. They moved into a three-bedroom, two-story house and George and Janet Chaulklin eventually had four children together. Later they moved to Florida, and then to Las Vegas. McGillis says for him, family life was pretty normal. But rarely for Wendolyn. She reported to a therapist that her mother had emotionally abused her as a child and one time beat her with clothes hangers. Janet Chaulklin denies having done either. “Wendy would say whatever the hell it took to get what she needed,” Chaulklin asserts.

McGillis and Wendolyn went to school together and developed a close bond while growing up in Milwaukee. “She wasn't the sharpest pencil in the box but she was a goodhearted person,” McGillis says of his sister. “She liked to talk a lot and was very outgoing.” In 1982 Wendolyn dropped out of high school, headed to Louisiana with her boyfriend, James Bultynck, and two years later had her first child with “Jimmer,” as the family calls him. After a run-in with the cops (Bultynck apparently had stolen a pickup truck and then left it in quicksand), the couple returned to Milwaukee, and in 1985 had their second child, a boy.

According to Wendolyn's parents, Bultynck was abusive to their daughter. “One time I let him borrow an extension cord; I come to find out he had used it to tie her up,” George Chaulklin says. “She had a gift for picking losers.”

Wendolyn and Bultynck split up when she was eight months pregnant with his third child. In November 1987, when that baby was born, Wendolyn already had begun dating Brian Backhaus. The 21-year-old mother gave up custody of her other two children to Bultynck (the oldest daughter, however, later moved back in with Wendolyn and currently is part of the custody cases).

According to Backhaus's mother, Paulette, Brian and Wendolyn shared a cocaine habit. “They were out of control with the drugs,” Paulette says from her home in Milwaukee. The couple, she describes, would go on robbing sprees. Throughout 1990 Brian Backhaus held up cashiers at two Subway shops and a restaurant at knifepoint, says Kris Lawrence, his parole officer from the Department of Corrections in Wisconsin. He served two years and was released on probation. In 1998 he robbed an Amoco gas station and was sent back to prison. Backhaus will be released May 13, 2001.

Prior to giving birth to Backhaus's daughter in Las Vegas on March 17, 1991, Wendolyn had been living in a car in Milwaukee. Darrin McGillis, who was living in New York, christened the child over the phone. Wendolyn was now the mother of four children, three girls and one boy, and her prospects were sinking fast.

McGillis, on the other hand, was moving up. He had dropped out of school in the ninth grade and began organizing parties such as “the Triple City Kickass Dance Party” at the Crystal Palace in Milwaukee. At age fifteen he began doing street promotions for teenage acts by passing out flyers and hanging up posters. Then he'd rent out the Palace, charge entrance, and turn a profit. In 1986 McGillis took out a loan and promoted his first major concert at the Eagle's Million Dollar Ballroom: The rap group World Class Wrecking Cru, Dr. Dre's first act, was almost a sold-out show.

In 1987 McGillis promoted a Christmas dance party at Milwaukee's 15,000-seat Mecca Arena. “Next thing I knew, a year later I booked a concert for Menudo,” McGillis recalls. Edgardo Diaz, the group's founder and manager, asked McGillis to become Menudo's concert promoter. McGillis accepted and put together a four-city tour. “I was like this one-man operation,” McGillis says. The Puerto Rican heartthrobs made headlines in San Antonio, when some of the 1200 squealing fans who had rampaged through the mall where the band was signing autographs began tearing off their clothes and earrings.

By 1989 McGillis had begun promoting other concerts by acts such as the Jets and Exposé. In 1990 he convinced Menudo's lead singer, Angelo, to record for a company he owned. The move set in motion a lawsuit domino effect. Menudo sued Angelo, but that didn't stop the teenybopper from recording three songs for one of McGillis's six companies, World Wide Entertainment. Then Angelo signed with Warner Bros. in Mexico and McGillis's lawyers in Puerto Rico filed for an injunction against the singer. The court denied it; McGillis appealed to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and the high court ruled in McGillis's favor. Time Warner (now AOL Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Bros.) bought Angelo's contract from McGillis to avoid a lawsuit. But he sued anyway, for lawyers' fees not included in the settlement. The company countersued, and in the end a new settlement was reached. McGillis also agreed to stop sending letters to Gerald Levine, CEO of Time Warner. As for Angelo, he released one album that flopped, and Warner Bros. dropped him from its label.

In 1991, after scandals involving drugs, sexual abuse, and financial scams broke up Menudo, manager Diaz formed a new Menudo out of Miami and asked McGillis to reverse the group's tainted image. McGillis appeared on Entertainment Tonight and Fox News, giving the new band a good rap. He claims he also purchased exclusive booking rights for Menudo in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Eventually the new Menudo produced five albums. McGillis says he owns the rights to three Miami Menudo songs, three Ruben Gomez songs (a singer who was in the band when Ricky Martin was a member in the late Eighties), three Angelo songs, a 30-minute Miami Menudo music video, and two CD compilations of all the songs he owns. Finally McGillis claims he also owns the rights to a group called Explosion, which recorded only one album in 1993.

In 1997 the Miami Menudo changed its name to MDO when Sony Discos signed them on their Spanish-language label. That year McGillis took a sabbatical from the music business and embarked on a new mission. During his ascent in the Latin teen-music scene, he grew apart from his sister. “Wendy was always part of my life,” McGillis reflects. “I just needed my own space to make it.” Suddenly in 1997 he was at the center of her very bleak existence.

By the summer of 1992, Wendolyn and Brian Backhaus were no longer together. She began living with Robert Jon Jones, the son of Janet Jones, Janet Chaulklin's best friend from Escanaba. Jones also was into cocaine, and it helped to reinforce Wendolyn's growing addiction, McGillis asserts. The couple got high often and argued constantly. “He's a very vicious, violent individual,” McGillis charges. In 1992, according to court documents from Nevada, Jones was arrested for beating and sexually assaulting Wendolyn. Four years later the State of Nevada convicted Jones on lesser charges.

Gerald Benge came into Wendolyn's life in December 1992, says Janet Chaulklin. He was Wendolyn's neighbor in Las Vegas, living in Section 8 housing with his wife and two kids. Wendolyn was about three months pregnant with Robert Jones's child at the time. A month after meeting her, Benge left his family and headed for Utah with Wendolyn. “He still owes us about $8000 in child support,” says Carolyne Benge, his ex-wife. The new couple moved in with Benge's father, Larry, and lived there for about eight months before the elder Benge kicked them out. Benge smoked marijuana every day and dabbled in cocaine, according to his ex-wife. Toward the latter part of Wendolyn's addiction, she began using crack, say family and neighbors.

In June 1993 Wendolyn gave birth to her fifth child, in Las Vegas. She returned to Salt Lake City shortly thereafter and by the spring of 1994, Wendolyn, her children, and Gerald Benge were in a homeless shelter, where they lived for eight months. While at the shelter Wendolyn and her babies were referred to the Salt Lake City Housing Authority. She applied for housing and a week after giving birth to another child, Benge's son, the family moved into a three-bedroom house in early 1995.

Vicky Gardner was Wendolyn's next-door neighbor. From her home in Salt Lake City the 42-year-old mother of five, whom Wendolyn had referred to as “Mom,” says Benge lived with Wendolyn against housing-authority rules. On top of that, Gardner claims he held a job for only two months in the almost two years he resided there. “Gerald was a total asshole,” says Gardner of her unwelcome neighbor. “Wendy was a happy person when he was nowhere around.”

The dysfunctional family of six survived on a total of about $1200 per month in food stamps and cash assistance from the government. Wendolyn's subsidized housing rent was $127 per month. McGillis believes the couple was spending the money on drugs and that his sister was prostituting herself to support her and Benge's habit. “Wendy would go out in the middle of the night with different men,” Gardner recalls. “Gerald would take off as well, leaving the children unattended.”

On three occasions between 1995 and 1996, Gardner reported to Utah's Division of Family Services that the children were neglected and that one of the girls had bruises on her upper thighs. “My daughters were changing her diaper when they noticed the marks,” Gardner says. The young child complained to her about the pain. “It looked like she had been grabbed in that area.” Around the same time, Salt Lake City Police were called to the house for a domestic-violence incident. Benge was arrested and charged with battery on both occasions.

On January 16, 1996, Wendolyn gave birth to Benge's second child, her seventh and her last. In November and December of that year, Wendolyn didn't pay her rent. The Salt Lake City Housing Authority evicted the family, and by the end of December they were out on the street. A Mormon bishop put the family up in a hotel for about a week and shortly thereafter Wendolyn was arrested on a bench warrant for stealing scraps of copper from a schoolyard. Benge moved into a friend's basement with the five children.

Wendolyn called her brother from jail, concerned about her children, McGillis says, and asked him to bail her out. He agreed to help if she left Benge. On January 29, 1997, McGillis flew from Miami, where he had been living since 1991, to Las Vegas, huddled with his parents, rented a car, and drove to Salt Lake City. He got Wendolyn out of jail, took the children from Benge, and rented a room at the Embassy Suites hotel for the family. Wendolyn called Benge and told him to meet her in Miami. But instead McGillis took Wendolyn and her five children to Janet Chaulklin's home in Las Vegas.

Wendolyn and her children lived in Janet Chaulklin's home for just three months before she returned to Salt Lake City. Chaulklin gave her daughter $900 and at Wendolyn's request drove her and her five children to the Greyhound bus station. With the help of some friends, Wendolyn rented a two-bedroom apartment. Meanwhile Benge was in Miami looking for her.

In June 1997, at the urging of her family, Wendolyn enrolled at the Center for Women and Children in Crisis in Provo, Utah. She lived at the refuge with her children until the end of July and reported that Benge had at one time “slammed my head 50 times against the bathroom tile and then he filled the tub with water and sunk my head in it.” Kimberly Kowallis, the center's director, recalls a shaky, nervous woman who was a little lost. “Wendolyn was appreciative of any help she got,” Kowallis says. “She had suffered a lot of abuse -- physical, emotional, and sexual -- and was very much in fear for her life.” Wendolyn also was undergoing counseling at the Wasatch Mental Health Hospital. In August she moved to Springville, Utah, with her children. Toward the end of the month, detectives entered her apartment, McGillis says, and found crack wrapped in aluminum foil tucked away in a hamper. McGillis says the police declined to press charges. His sister called for help and he flew to Springville and brought them back to his home in Miami. Together the McGillises flew into town on September 3, 1997.

Darrin McGillis is a domineering man who likes things to go his way. During the reporting of this story he attempted to exert control over how and what information was gathered. So it was with his sister. At first Wendolyn and the children lived with McGillis in his two-bedroom apartment in Kendall Lake Towers for a month. She agreed in writing to have McGillis administer her finances -- food stamps, housing, and welfare checks -- for three months. “I, Wendy McGillis, am giving my brother “Power of Attorney,'” the contract stated. Wendolyn signed it on September 24. McGillis helped her apply for subsidized housing, and she was granted Section 8 in the same apartment complex where McGillis was living so he could keep a close eye on her. Wendolyn was totally dependent on her brother. “She would tell me: “Darrin, don't forget to bring me my chocolate and my Coke,'” McGillis says. “She needed it for her [drug] cravings.”

Although McGillis claims he only used a tough-love strategy to straighten out his sister's life, he may have gone overboard. In October 1997 he left her and three of the kids stranded near Quail Roost Drive after they had gotten into an argument on their way to see a DCF caseworker, according to a police report. McGillis, it seems, stifled Wendolyn. In fact when she died in January 1998, the two hadn't talked in more than a month.

Gerald Benge, who for nine months had been searching for Wendolyn in Miami, slipped back into her life in November 1997, just as the siblings were having a falling out. According to the investigator hired by Benge to find Wendolyn, she was desperate to reunite with her ex-boyfriend. “She wanted to see him but said to me that her brother wouldn't let her,” says Lorin M. Jacobson.

When McGillis found out that Benge was again residing with Wendolyn, he took back all the furniture and appliances he had let his sister borrow. “It would have all ended up at the corner pawnshop if he hadn't done that,” says Janet Chaulklin, who also withdrew her financial support. McGillis called 911 to have police remove Benge from Wendolyn's apartment. But police could do nothing. He also called the DCF's 24-hour abuse hotline. In September the department had already received a letter from McGillis and Wendolyn explaining the circumstances that contributed to her inability to work for government monies.

On November 23, 1997, DCF protective investigator Nancy Cuevas arrived at McGillis's home. He informed her of his concerns and volunteered documentation supporting his claims. Cuevas then headed to Wendolyn's apartment, in the same complex, and spoke to her and Benge. Two days later the couple accused McGillis of sexually molesting one of his nieces. McGillis took two lie detector exams and passed them. The State Attorney's Office dropped the charges.

Two weeks prior to his sister's death, McGillis sat down with DCF's then-district administrator Anita Bock and her right-hand man, Imran Ali. “I gave her documents supporting my concerns about Benge,” McGillis says. “When Wendy died with high doses of cocaine in her system, they went into full force to discredit, slander, defame, and prevent me from exposing the truth in court.”

Darrin McGillis became a man with a single mission. “DCF knew that this guy was capable of killing her and did nothing,” McGillis claims. “They probably thought, Oh heck, it's just another woman on welfare. It's embarrassing for them. They never thought that I would take it to the level that I have.”

He is consumed by his sister's life and death and by the disdain he feels for those whom he says contributed to her untimely passing. Few other thoughts, it seems, cross his mind. His world is a lonely one. He relies on public transportation and recently moved in with a friend “from the music business” because he couldn't afford to pay his rent. He hasn't been working since 1997 and says he gets by on royalties from some of the Menudo music he owns, which mostly sells in Latin-American countries.

McGillis also faces many accusations. The state's welfare agency and juvenile court considers him a harasser and manipulator. A few days after Wendolyn died, McGillis videotaped her children answering questions about what transpired before their mother's death. The DCF claims McGillis brainwashed the kids into believing Benge killed their mother. McGillis denies the allegations. He's jammed up many fax machines. During a hearing in October 1999, Judge Jeri Cohen complained about it. “You are not to fax me anything else,” Cohen ordered. “If you have something. I'm warning you not to do it. Let me tell you something, Mr. McGillis. Look at me. That fax machine is my fax machine. I pay for all the ribbons in that, and since you have started faxing me information my bills -- and I'll call my secretary in here -- have gone up. It's costing me $85 a month in ribbons because of all the junk you've sent me.”

According to DCF's district administrator Charles Auslander, McGillis had harassed attorney Lucy Piniero by calling her office 50 times in a row. Judge Cohen entered an order prohibiting him from communicating with anyone from the Department of Children and Families, particularly Piniero. McGillis appealed. “Well, you know the problem with that was that maybe he only called 40 times,” says E. Joseph Ryan, Jr., an appeals expert who represented McGillis in the Third District Court of Appeal. “It sounded like a fantasy.” Once police even dragged him out of the Juvenile Justice Center in handcuffs because he wouldn't leave Piniero's office until he spoke to her. McGillis was charged with trespassing even though he was in a public building during business hours.

While McGillis clearly has crossed lines, those opposing him have as well. Judge Cohen has questioned his sanity: “Darrin is mentally ill.... You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that he's got severe psychological problems,” she said during a hearing in April 1999. Paulette Backhaus, one of the paternal grandmothers, spread rumors through e-mail that McGillis had been able to get certain documents because he was having “gay sex” with an attorney who worked for Piniero. McGillis sued Backhaus for slandering him and won. “This is not just about my sister and her kids, this is also about reclaiming my dignity,” McGillis declares.

The DCF is planning to reunite Gerald Benge with his two children soon. The agency even got him into housing through the HUD Family Reunification Program in preparation for the big day. “Those kids are his meal tickets,” McGillis says. “They're his Section 8 and his welfare. Wendy was his meal ticket when she was alive.” The 41-year-old Benge lives in Miami Beach in a three-bedroom apartment. In his housing contract with the Miami-Dade Housing Authority (MDHA), Benge is listed as having two dependents, although his two children currently are living with a foster family in Miami. “That's information we got from DCF,” says Sherra McCleod, communications director of MDHA. The DCF's Auslander says it was a mistake. “He should really be in a one-bedroom apartment.”

When New Times asked Auslander and Linda Wells, DCF's chief legal counsel, if Benge had complied with his case plan, they declined to answer. “Often times it's not possible to make a parent the perfect person,” Auslander says. “He's nothing but a leech,” Janet Chaulklin counters. “The state's turning him into their poster boy.” During the dependency proceedings involving his children, Benge tested positive for benzodiazepines, an illegal tranquilizer, and the child-welfare agency investigated allegations that he slapped his son in the face during an unsupervised visit in February. “They need to rehabilitate him to show that he's a great guy, so they can say, “Hey, he's had his mishaps but he's been rehabilitated,'” McGillis asserts.

The oldest of Wendolyn's children, now sixteen years old, has been through three shelters, three foster homes, and three group homes. She's now residing in a shelter for troubled girls in Homestead. Her second oldest, the only one not in the dependency proceeding, remained with his father until recently, when he moved into an aunt's house. Wendolyn's three remaining children are split between Milwaukee and Las Vegas. One of the girls lives with the Chaulklins. The other two are each with a paternal grandmother.

Darrin McGillis is going forward with his termination of parental rights case against Benge. He plans on deposing witnesses soon and is glad that Judge Cohen has at least recused herself from the TPR case. Meanwhile he has high hopes that Karen Gievers, a child-advocacy lawyer who specializes in suing DCF, wins for him the biggest battle he has ever waged. “I'm just one little guy going against a bureaucracy,” McGillis says. “When this is all over, no one is going to write me a check. I get nothing out of this except knowing those kids are safe and that they don't see the horrors my sister lived through.”

Anonymous said...

I may still vote for Judge Cohen...

He is consumed by his sister's life and death and by the disdain he feels for those whom he says contributed to her untimely passing. Few other thoughts, it seems, cross his mind. His world is a lonely one. He relies on public transportation and recently moved in with a friend “from the music business” because he couldn't afford to pay his rent. He hasn't been working since 1997 and says he gets by on royalties from some of the Menudo music he owns, which mostly sells in Latin-American countries.

McGillis also faces many accusations. The state's welfare agency and juvenile court considers him a harasser and manipulator. A few days after Wendolyn died, McGillis videotaped her children answering questions about what transpired before their mother's death. The DCF claims McGillis brainwashed the kids into believing Benge killed their mother. McGillis denies the allegations. He's jammed up many fax machines. During a hearing in October 1999, Judge Jeri Cohen complained about it. “You are not to fax me anything else,” Cohen ordered. “If you have something. I'm warning you not to do it. Let me tell you something, Mr. McGillis. Look at me. That fax machine is my fax machine. I pay for all the ribbons in that, and since you have started faxing me information my bills -- and I'll call my secretary in here -- have gone up. It's costing me $85 a month in ribbons because of all the junk you've sent me.”

According to DCF's district administrator Charles Auslander, McGillis had harassed attorney Lucy Piniero by calling her office 50 times in a row. Judge Cohen entered an order prohibiting him from communicating with anyone from the Department of Children and Families, particularly Piniero. McGillis appealed. “Well, you know the problem with that was that maybe he only called 40 times,” says E. Joseph Ryan, Jr., an appeals expert who represented McGillis in the Third District Court of Appeal. “It sounded like a fantasy.” Once police even dragged him out of the Juvenile Justice Center in handcuffs because he wouldn't leave Piniero's office until he spoke to her. McGillis was charged with trespassing even though he was in a public building during business hours.

While McGillis clearly has crossed lines, those opposing him have as well. Judge Cohen has questioned his sanity: “Darrin is mentally ill.... You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that he's got severe psychological problems,” she said during a hearing in April 1999.

Anonymous said...

DARRIN MCGILLIS, Appellant(s)/Petitioner(s), vs. DANIEL NESS, ET AL., Appellee(s)/Respondent(s).

CASE NO.: 3D05-2339


923 So. 2d 1178; 2006 Fla. App. LEXIS 5161

January 24, 2006, Decided


PRIOR HISTORY: LOWER TRIBUNAL NO. 05-6983, 05-7087, 05-296 AP.


OPINION: Following review of the petition for writ of certiorari and the response and reply thereto, it is ordered that said petition is hereby denied.

Upon consideration of the motion for sanctions filed by respondent Benjamin Ness, it is ordered that said motion is granted and remanded to the trial court to fix amount.

Upon consideration, petitioner's request for sanctions against counsel is hereby denied.


DARRIN MCGILLIS, Appellant(s)/Petitioner(s), vs. BENJAMIN NESS, Appellee(s)/Respondent(s).

CASE NO.: 3D05-1230


910 So. 2d 274; 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 15963

August 30, 2005, Decided


PRIOR HISTORY: LOWER TRIBUNAL NO. 05-14334. McGillis v. Ness, 903 So. 2d 198, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 10168 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist., 2005)


OPINION: Upon consideration of the emergency petition for writ of mandamus, it is ordered that said petition is hereby dismissed as moot. LEVY, C.J., and FLETCHER and CORTINAS, JJ., concur.

DARRIN MCGILLIS, Appellant(s)/Petitioner(s), vs. BENJAMIN NESS, Appellee(s)/Respondent(s).

CASE NO.: 3D05-1230


903 So. 2d 198; 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 10168

June 15, 2005, Decided


SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: Writ dismissed by McGillis v. Ness, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 15963 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist., Aug. 30, 2005)


OPINION: This Court's order dated June 14, 2005 is hereby vacated.

Anonymous said...

McGillis also falsely accused Ricky Martin of being raped by a man. Wow!


Anonymous said...

Here is the most interesting part of the case you posted.

Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
Angel Luis García, Carmen García et al., Plaintiffs and respondents
World Wide Entertainment Co., Darrin McGillis, Defendants and petitioners
No. CE-92-126
San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 24, 1992

"The plaintiffs alleged that both contracts were void because they were contrary to law, morals and public policy. As second cause of action, plaintiffs alleged that defendants (McGillis and boyfriend) had physically abused and sexually harassed the minor, for which they sought damages."

Anonymous said...

D'Arcy is the biggest piece of shit that exists...his troubles don't just stem from the courts...if you dig deeper, you might find he was under investigation at FIU for stealing funds from the Honors Council in which he served on...

Anonymous said...

Very pretty design! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

Bryan said...

team building How to create effective teams, team work, and team building is a challenge in every organization. This is one of the key reasons why team building is such a hot topic. Team building is the deliberate process of developing and maintaining the team so it functions as its leaders and members want. Basically, success in team building is measured in two ways: by keeping conflicts down and performance up. The purpose of team building is to help your team be more effective. One could say that team building is like coaching but for a group. - team building guides