Some people have been discussing history on the blog. Here are two great comments that went up last night.
abe laeser said...
Ah, those heady days of Watergate. A very junior prosecutor like me trying to snoop for any way 'in' to the case that brought down the President. But the real work was always at the top, with Gerstein and Carhart actually running the case, the facts + law in a very hands-on manner. Marty Dardis had all of the skills of a great investigator. Real sense of reading people, street smarts, dogged tenacity, and the ability to put it together to prove a crime. None better in my years. No others really close.
Busy watching 'All the President's Men' on AMC - brings back the days when journalists were at their zenith.-- and the SAO was so small you could hardly call the structure a bureaucracy. 37 lawyers, not 300. A 'band of brothers' who knew each other's cases well enough to step into the breach.
We had 'vertical filing'. You screened your own cases, and filed only those you felt you could prove to a jury. Caseloads were LOW because if you filed garbage it was your case for trial.It must be late, I am starting to lament the 'good old days'.
On the other hand, what Gerstein and Dardis did led to the imprisonment of two Attorneys General of the United States, and the resignation of the President.There have been no such stories since -- and I hope for our country's sake, there never will be again.
For those of you new to our little world , State Attorney Richard Gerstein's chief investigator was Martin Dardis. Janet Reno's chief investigator was George "Ray" Havens.
George Ray Havens claim to fame was or, more appropriately, came as a result of his work with the then Metro Dade Public Safety Department’s Organized Crime Bureau “OCB,” a unit created by and under the supervision of Steve Bertucelli, after Wilson Purdy, a retired FBI Agent was brought in as Director of the Metro Dade Police to clean up Dade County, after the elected Sheriff was abolished.
George Ray was a lieutenant in the unit. At the time, with the perceived mandate, OCB undertook some really “intense” investigations and employed “creative” techniques.
The primary objective of the OCB unit was the County Commissioners and other County Hall personas. These individuals and their confidants and “social acquaintances” soon became the target of electronic surveillance and other covert and unconventional Ops. No one was safe, not even the girlfriends, mistresses, or escorts who often filled the political parties. (Heck if Joe Centorino had this crew with the electronics of today all his dreams would come true).
It all unraveled on E. Wilson Purdy and his crew, when several Commissioners were arrested, and some unconventional investigations were discovered. The OCB crew went running for cover, including some “associates” who were lending their talents to the unit in violation of their own agency rules by engaging in domestic tasking with their OCB buddies.
George Ray was then hired by Janet Reno to replace Martin Dardis, but George Ray was never given nor had the same latitude as Dardis had under Richard Gerstein, nor was Janet Reno of the same mind set as her predecessor. Thus, it is unfair to compare George Ray to Dardis in that regard. Oh, by the way, George Ray’s trusty confidant Wayne Black deserves honorable mention as contributing to George Ray’s professional achievements. Hell now I really feel old, but am glad I am still around to recall.
Rumpole wonders if any of the lawyers, prosecutors or defense attorneys, from those corruption cases are still around to talk about them.
Great comments. See You In Court.