Today’s article brought us back to a simpler time: when there was no Captain, no Riddler, no Jason Grey, no moops logging on with stupid names, no intelligent debates with Abe Laeser. And most importantly: (almost) no readers. We just went on and on prattling away about things that bothered us, and no one cared. No mean and sexist comments. A simpler and maybe more pleasant time.
Then, we got a scoop. We caught Ol’ Bennett with his foot in the cookie jar (we love to mix metaphors.)
We have nothing to add to today’s Herald trashing of BB. But in honor of the man without whom we probably would be on the trash heap of dead blogs, we re-print one of our favorite posts.
Pay special attention to the section on HUBRIS. About the only thing we can say about BB’s current actions is that “it takes a man with a real hard head to not learn any lessons from his previous mistakes.” Keep right on swinging BB, you may just lose your job next time.
FROM NOVEMBER 25, 2005: WE PROUDLY REPRINT:
A JBB Exclusive: Dade Public Defender Settles Lawsuit for $200,000.00 + Attorneys Fees.!!
We scooped the Herald on this one:
The JBB has learned that long time Dade County Public Defender Bennett Brummer has caved in and settled a federal wrongful termination lawsuit that arose out of his contentious re-election campaign.
The Scene: The annual Martin Luther King Day Parade cira 2003.
Dramatis Personae : Assistant Dade County Public Defender Gabe Martin, who has announced his intention to oust his boss; another young assistant public defender (Lonnie Richardson) marching in support of Gabe Martin; and Bennett Brummer.
At the parade the Assistant Public Defender-Richardson- ( and soon to be Plaintiff) marching in support of Gabe Martin has a mega-phone, and is yelling anti- Bennett Brummer slogans, like "We Need A Public Defender, Not a Public Pretender. "
Brummer, gearing up for his re-election fight was present and witnessed the spectacle. Sometime thereafter, an enraged Brummer shows his dark side and orders his henchmen (in this case- we believe it was a hench woman) to fire the young PD.
A Federal lawsuit alleging wrongful termination was filed, and as it proceeded towards trial Brummer and his legal team filed a motion for summary judgment before new Federal Judge Marsha Cooke.
We haven't seen the ruling the denying the motion, but we hear it was a real barn burner, with some very critical language of Brummer and his legal team. Meanwhile, to ratchet up the pressure, in conjunction with filing the motion for summary judgment, but before Judge Cooke's ruling, Brummer and his team of legal eagles makes an offer of settlement: that the Plaintiff pay $1,000.00 and write an apology.
The Greeks have a word for this: Hubris. And if you have read any Greek tragedies, you know what follows: disaster.
Well, after they got up off the floor, the Plaintiff and his lawyer formally rejected the offer. Judge Cooke's blistering ruling followed sometime thereafter.
We don't know the rest of the specifics but we feel we are on pretty firm ground reporting the following:Brummer has parted with $200,000.00 PLUS legal fees, and didn't even get the gag order he wanted. The Plaintiff is free to talk and gloat about his victory whenever he wishes.
Brummer, who should be ashamed of himself, gets all the publicity here.
First Greek Tragedy; then Hubris, now, Irony:
In 2002 Brummer was honored by the ACLU with the Nelson Poynter award.
Named after the former crusading Editor and Publisher of the St. Petersburg Times, the Poynter award honors people who have tirelessly fought to promote and advance civil liberties and civil rights in Florida.
Here's the rub: Brummer was sued for wrongful termination and violating the FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS of his former employee, who was taking part in a peaceful march and was advocating his own political views during his own free time.
We have to believe that Poynter himself would have roasted Bennett's butt in a scathing editorial about Brummer's heavy handed anti-freedom of speech and expression tactics, if Poynter was still around. Poynter's gone, but the JBB is here to expose hypocrisywhen we see it.Brummer can't be feeling too happy these days.
On August 5, 2005, the Miami Herald (did we mention we scooped the Herald on this story??) reported that Brummer's top aid David Weed and another Public defender employee agreed to pay fines for violating Florida's Campaign Laws.Campaign dirty tactics?
Suppressing free speech? This is not the committee to re-elect the President we are talking about. This is Dade's Public Defender.We think ol' Brummer has built himself quite a little fiefdom over on 14th street. Plenty of cushy jobs and old time campaign cronies cashing big paychecks, while young PDs are forced to sign loyalty oaths and are fired if they don't vote the right way.
Bennet Brummer: ACLU Honoree or loser in a civil rights suit?Public Defender..or Public Pretender?
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HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY.
See You In Court Tuesday.