A REGJB BLOG EXCLUSIVE
Jack Thompson, a long time local Coral Gables Lawyer, has written to our Dade State Attorney who we affectionately(???) refer to as "Fernandle" , inquiring as to why her office would employ a prosecutor who was SUSPENDED AND PROHIBITED FROM PRACTISING LAW?
Mr. Thompson, who did a little digging on Dighe (actually he called the Bar) learned that Prosecutor Utpal Dighe who was recently arrested for purchase of Marijuana was suspended by the Bar in October 2005 for failing the "basic skills test." He since failed to re-take the exam, so he was suspended by the Bar. In October 2006 Mr. Dighe failed to pay his Bar Dues, and was suspended again.
Here is the closing paragraph of Mr.Thompson's letter to the State Attorney:
"Thus, you had this guy representing the State of Florida as an Assistant State Attorney, and he didn’t even have a Bar license. Your failure to supervise this lawyer in this simple regard opens you up to Bar discipline, and I plan to research that and act appropriately.
I did see you in Home Depot the other day. Maybe you were looking for someone in the “lumber” section to handle homicide prosecutions."
What in the name of professional office management is going on at the State Attorneys Office?
We recently wrote a piece in which we posted an imaginary phone between the State Attorney and her aide, in which she was on vacation. Everyone is entitled to a vacation. But the genesis of the that idea was based on courthouse chatter that our State Attorney is out of the office a lot- and we don't mean in Tallahassee lobbying against the defendant's right to conduct cross examination.
Back to the Dighe disaster: Query: Can a defendant be prosecuted and convicted by a prosecutor and legally sentenced by a Judge when the prosecutor was not allowed to practice law in the State Of Florida? Just how many informations did Mr. Dighe sign under oath, and is each and everyone of those informations now evidence in a perjury investigation? And is Ms. Fernandle derelict in her duties to supervise her lawyers, which may in fact expose her to discipline from the Bar?
Mr. Dighe may have had his problems responsibly living up to his obligations. It is often said that excessive use of Marijuana will cause a "devil may care...I'll do it tomorrow attitude." Who knows?
The real question is what is going on at the SAO.????
They have an awful lot of chiefs, and not enough Indians. You would think one of those chiefs would take a moment from telling an Indian that they cannot offer a "reduced plea" of 30 years on the grand theft case with no witnesses, and spend a moment or two on personnel issues.
"Has everyone paid their Bar dues? "
"Is everyone current with CLE?"
Here's a neat one: "Is any prosecutor currently suspended by the Bar?"
Or would that kind of work drag the big important supervisor away from their precious duties of sitting on their duffs and writing the word "NO" over and over again in inter-office emails.?
We anxiously await answers to these and other pressing questions in our new Soap Opera/Novella: : "As the SAO Spins."
Tomorrow on As The SAO Spins: it turns out one of the supervisors for the felony division is an identical twin and two people have actually being doing the work of one supervisor.
See You In Court checking the CLE records of our distinguished opponents.
PS. That last line of Mr. Thompson's letter had us chuckling.