From prosecutorial grudge breaks to new mutiny
Where prosecutors fired makes supervisors hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these supervisors
A trio of star crossed prosecutors are fired
Whose misadvenutred piteous acts
Doth with their firing do create Fernandez-Rundle’s strife.
With a tip of the hat to our favourite tragedy from our favourite Bard, we set out to examine three memos that constituted the SAO Christmas Eve Massacre.
Memo 1: Herbert Walker III’s resignation email:
“It is with great sadness that I regret to inform you of my recent decision and to resign from the office. … may you continue to prosper and excel and “fight the good fight” and “wage the good warfare” against crime in our community…the struggle for good and against evil is a reward that surpasses any mere monetary quantification."
Query: who in the name of the lord gave this man an ounce of power? Nowhere in his resignation email is there any hint of a mention of seeking justice. He was on a crusade- all were guilty, the other side was "evil", and he was the tip of the sword in “warfare”. This man would not have made it past the first round of interviews when Janet Reno was the State Attorney. And not only was he given the power to decide to seek a prison sentence, he was supervising other people? This is astounding and it boggles the mind that the State Attorneys Office could sit quietly on the side while he engaged in his "warfare" against defendants.
Memo Two: Don Horn fires Antonio H. Jimenez (or…how to cover your tracks in six easy steps).
This memo requires some careful reading: Horn meets with Jimenez and writes Jimenez lied to him about receiving approval from the assistant chief of the career criminal/robbery unit to plead a case below the guidelines. Horn writes that Jimenez conceded to him that he misrepresented the facts to him and to the assistant chief. Then Horn writes: “Mr. Jimenez’s explanation for the below guidelines plea was that he had, in fact, obtained approval for the plea from the assistant chief of career criminal.”
Lets stop right there: Horn writes that Jimenez admitted to him that he lied. Then Horn writes that Jimenez defended his actions by saying he had approval, which Horn says in the memo, is a lie. Something just doesn’t sit right with that explanation. Either Jimenez admitted to lying or he defended his actions and Horn believes he lied. You cannot have it both ways (unless you are a City of Miami Police officer taking a confession and the tape recorder conveniently fails.)
Now it really gets strange. Horn writes: Finally, after our meeting, Mr. Jimenez represented to certain of his co-workers that he was terminated due to the Assistant Chief Of Career Criminal/Robbery division misrepresenting facts to me-which is a lie. Accordingly, because Mr. Jimenez…made representations to one of his superiors and co-workers… his employment was immediately terminated.”
Let us translate: Jimenez was fired because he lied to Horn, and then told his co-workers he was fired because an assistant chief lied- and because Jimenez lied to his co-workers about why he was fired- Horn... .uhh..fired him. Again. Because in the State Attorneys Office, it is an offense punishable by firing to lie about why you were fired. Get it?
That’s the logic of a Soviet Commissar protecting his own inadequate communist butt. Something really stinks about this.
The State Attorneys Spokesperson was quoted in the Herald as stating the Office had not yet decided whether to file bar charges against Jimenez. Herbert Walker is allegedly accused of sexual harassment, and he resigns without a peep. But lie about why you were fired (which gets you fired) and they want to disbar you?
Someone please wake us from this nightmare, because we are getting a headache. These are just not believable actions and statements from individuals who are supposed to hold the power of seeking the death penalty.
Memo Three: The Mills Francis Massacre.
Don Horn fires, get this, an INTERN, while the prosecutors in the division are suspended. Why? Because, as Horn writes:
"Mr. Zuniga’s failure to provide complete information, his failure to inform any superior regarding the Court’s intended actions, and his failure in being forthright and clear about what occurred in court is intolerable."
If being “forthright and clear” is a prerequisite to being a prosecutor, and having just read two of his memos, umm…perhaps it’s time for Mr. Horn to go back to private practice.
But more troubling is the firing of an intern- an intern- for failing to inform his supervisors regarding the court’s intended actions. Just where in the world were these supervisors? Were they all in meetings devising circular strategies to fire people? Was this young man fired because his supervisors were shocked! Shocked ! to find out what Judge Mills-Francis was doing? (We are citing here to the scene in Casablanca where the prefect shuts down Rick’s casino because he is :"shocked, shocked to find there is gambling here” just as an employee hands him his roulette winnings.)
You want to can this kid, then can him. But don’t blame him for not telling people who have the responsibility to monitor this kid to begin with. As we have stated before, it is a violation of the rules of professional responsibility for lawyers to not adequately monitor interns, especially interns who are in court acting on behalf of the people of the State of Florida.
This is day two of the State Attorneys Office’s invocation of their right to remain silent and not explain why Herbert Walker III, resigned with “great sadness.”
The people want to know- what did he do? What was he accused of? What did the State Attorney know, and when did she know it?
As to Jimenez and The Intern, you use your own judgment. Are you satisfied with what happened here, and with Horn’s memos explaining the incidents?
We are not.
See You in court, where at least when we say something, we mean it.
PS: This is our 801st post. Something tells us some people would have prefered we call it a career at 800.