Rumpole says: This was a prosecutor who tinged his prosecutions with a religious zeal that concerned many defense attorneys. His resignation letter confirms his "black/white" view of what we do, and also appears to confirm that the resignation was not his idea. The article by Ms. Nesmith quotes SAO Spokesperson Terry Chavez (no more handling mental health issues Terry?) as saying the SAO will comment at a a later time as to why Walker resigned.
Chavez is quoted by Ms. Nesmith as saying that ASA Jimenez was fired for misrepresenting that he obtained a victim's approval for a plea.
Rumpole says: rumours in the SAO persist that all that glitters may not be gold in the Jimenez matter.
End of Update: Here is the original post:
Today a palpable sense of fear and loathing in Miami hangs in the Dade County State Attorneys' Office. Prosecutors walk with a blank stare, heads hanging low. Any requests that they talk about what has just happened at their office is met with a polite "no comment" followed by a whispered "I don't want to lose my job too."
Such is life under a totalitarian regime where "citizens" are routinely whisked away in the dead of night never to be seen again. Morale is at the lowest point possible in the Dade State Attorneys Office.
Rumpole has confirmed the following so far:
ASA Herb Walker "was asked to resign". A controversial Division Chief who was celebrating a guilty verdict last Thursday, Walker resigned on Friday. The reason he was asked to resign is allegedly there were allegations made against against him of sexual harassment. Nothing has been proven.
ASA Antonio Jimenez was fired. The reason allegedly has to do with an allegation regarding his authority to offer a plea in a career criminal case. Word from other prosecutors and the defense bar is that Tony Jimenez was well regarded and was a good prosecutor and there is a palpable sense of outrage that he was fired. Some have whispered that he is the fall guy for a case he had authority to resolve.
A female secretary was fired for "sexual harassment."
Rumpole ponders: What is it about the State Attorneys office that is engendering these feelings of sexual frustration? Is it the proximity to South Beach and the bevy of models that sashay down the street apparently out of reach for the common prosecutor and his or her meager salary? Something is causing prosecutors and employees to become sexually frustrated to the point where they take it out on their colleagues. Perhaps an office wide trip to TOOTSIES is in order. (A quick perusal of their website reveals that "Honey de la Cruz" is appearing all this week. Ok. It wasn't a "quick" perusal.) Apparently a trip entitles you to spin the "wheel of friction" which may just be all that some members of the SAO need to ease their "frustrations."
THE JUDGE MILLS FRANCIS ASA MASSACRE:
This is the worst news of all. Apparently acting in the Christmas spirit, there was a Toys For Tots program that Judge Mills Francis was helping. Judge Ward among other criminal and civil Judges was also participating in a Toys collection program.
Out of this Toys For Tots Program, the State Attorneys office has FIRED one prosecutor, suspended without pay three to five prosecutors, and re-assigned all the prosecutors who were previously in Judge Mills Francis Division.
We did not reach State Attorney Fernandle for a quote, so we imagine she would say this:
"Merry Christmas, you're fired. Toys for Tots? Bah, humbug. "
Rumpole fumes: This is County Court. 90% of the cases deal with selling flowers without a license, possession of an undersized snook, or driving without glasses. All these cases and more are routinely dismissed.
The State Attorneys Office is going to have to offer some explanations as to why they are abusing their county court employees in this manner.
Lets not forget that the prosecutors in County Court are new attorneys. They need close supervision to help them learn where to draw the line. The Florida Bar requires that senior attorneys supervise and mentor junior attorneys who work for them. The Bar has held senior lawyers responsible for not supervising new lawyers.
If the State Attorneys Office saw fit to fire a prosecutor, was his supervisor disciplined? What if anything happened to the Chief Of County Court? Or do the supervisors at the State Attorneys Office not believe that the buck stops with them? Are they not professional enough to step forward and explain why there was a lack of supervision that caused this young prosecutor to make a mis-step that has ended his career?
This is the same Office that Janet Reno used to run. When Ms. Reno was Attorney General and Waco exploded, she went to Congress and took full responsibility. Where is the same ethics and character in the current State Attorneys Office?
Let us be blunt: this stinks. We demand an explanation.
See You In Court.