BREAKING BLOG NEWS: MORE BROWARD JUDGES RESIGN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS!!!!!:
The Broward Blog is reporting that both the Chief Administrative Judges for the civil and criminal divisions (Judges Cowart and Spechler, respectively) have resigned. If this keeps ur their going to have to start pressing traffic magistrates into service to handle calendars.
It just confirms our deepest suspicions that even the Broward Judges don't like going to court in Broward.
THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF JQC ROCK, JI-JUDICIAL INVESTIGATOR.
THE CASE OF THE SAD CHIEF
We were just sitting around the office, staring at some files. Old cold Chinese food containers sat on desks, with chopsticks forlornly sticking out. Maybe someone had a bottle of Jack that found its way into my glass of Coke. Anyway, the phone rang, and I picked it up.
I should have learned my lesson by now.
There was a JI on the other end from Broward. He needed some help.
I hung up the phone and leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes. My head had started to throb. My new partner, the Kid, was still pouring over the Hanzman case, looking for a break. We had brought all the candidates for the 3rd DCA seat in, but they lawyered up. Said nothing. You get used to that in my business, where most suspects are Judges or lawyers.
The Kid got up and walked over. “Something new Rock?”
“Yeah, Kid, you could say that.”
“Broward caught a big one. They need our help. Turn on Channel 7, the story will be up in a few moments.”
The Kid flipped on the TV and there was a reporter I knew. I had more than a passing acquaintance with certain soft parts of her anatomy. But that was a long time ago it seemed. Or maybe last week. But this was business. The story came on, and there was our new case: A big picture of Chief Judge Dale Ross. Except he wasn’t the chief no more. Someone had seen to that.
We have a saying here in the JI office- “When your job ends, our job begins.”
The Kid looked at me in astonishment. I nodded my head.
“Yup, Kid. Someone took out Ross, and Broward JI called. They need our help. Lets roll.”
We got to Broward and met up with the JI heading up the Ross case. He had a copy of the Sun Sentinel. It wasn’t pretty. The Kid made a face.
“Hang in there Kid” I growled.
The Broward JI laughed. “Whatssmatta Kid, ain’t you never seen a Judge go down before?”
“Its so messy. I never thought Judicial politics could be that bloody.”
The Broward JI and I laughed. “After the first hundred bodies, it gets easier Kid, hang in there.”
We talked for a few minutes, and I went over the notes the Broward boys had collected. They had their theory of the case, but I didn’t like it. No, I didn’t like it one bit.
There were several Judges who were candidates to replace Ross sitting in the other room.
“They talked?” the Kid asked in astonishment.
The Broward JI nodded. “Yeah. It’s different up here. None of that Miranda crap flies in court, so you can hardly expect a Judge to invoke it when they need it.”
“They all got alibis?” I asked.
“Yup.” The Broward guy said. “But someone will crack. Someone planted those stories in the Sun Sentinel and on TV. I’ll catch the bastard.”
I reviewed the case file in silence for 20 minutes. The Broward guys were barking up the wrong tree. I was sure I was right. I walked back to the bullpen area where a few JIs were sitting around.
“All the Judges alibis check out, right?”
“Yeah” said one JI sadly. “We got nothing.”
“ I wouldn’t say that. You got the guy. He’s right under your nose.” I made a gesture to a picture hanging on the wall.
The JIs looked at me like I was crazy. Even the Kid seemed to think I’d flipped out.
“You can’t be serious Rock.”
“Shut up and listen kid, I’ll learn ya somthin.”
The Broward JIs all gathered around.
“You ever see a stiff off himself by cutting his wrists? What ya see is a bunch of attempts first. They make small cuts to see how it hurts before making a big one. Same thing with Ross. Nobody did this to him; he took himself out. The pattern fits. He starts making strange rulings from the bench. He knows he’s got some problem Judges like Seidlin and Korda and Greene and he does nothing about it.
He wanted to go. He took himself out. I seen it a hundred times.
The Hastings Federal Case in the 80’s; The Courtbroom guys in the 90’s, hell I worked the Huttoe case in the 70’s. They all did it to themselves. Ross is no different. He’s human. He got bored, frustrated. Didn’t want to just quit. That was against his nature. So he took himself out and made it look dirty. He called the Sun Sentinel. He was the source on those Channel 7 stories. He needed a break. He needed a way out. Go drag in those reporters, and you’ll see. I’m right. Come on Kid, we still got the Hanzman case to solve.”
We walked out past a dozen stunned Broward JIs.
The Kid and I drove home in silence. It was well past midnight. When you work my job, you get used to the long hours.
I dropped him off at his apartment. It was one of those new ones on Brickell. He didn’t have a few ex-wives to support, but that would come with time. So would the experience to do this job without getting rattled. But today was a tough one for him.
I stopped the car. He opened the door and muttered something and walked off into the hot Miami night.
A few days later we got a call from Broward. One of the reporters cracked under questioning and admitted Ross was his source for a story. After that it all fell into place. Yeah, Ross took himself out. I could solve Broward’s mess, but I still had a monster stalking 3rd DCA candidates in my own backyard, and I didn’t feel one inch closer to solving that case.