Monday, August 31, 2009
PD OFFICE IN TURMOIL
It is our sad duty to report that the once proud Dade County Public Defender's Office is in turmoil.
Morale is in basement (and they don't even have a basement on 14th street, do they?)
Some top (very top) guys were at a goodbye party for a PD leaving for a civil firm last Thursday and were telling everyone that they were going to get poor Ol'Rumpole. This is apparently how scared they are of us mentioning that there are problems in Casa de Carlos. One top PD guy has "hacker friends" who are going to hack us and shut us down, while others are sure that a lawsuit would work. Tsk tsk. Don't you guys have a representation crisis? (click the link).
Instead of drafting lawsuits against our humble blog, how about picking up a file and pitching in?
Anyway: here are some of the things that are bringing people down: (note- these are summaries of emails we received from assistant public defenders. Some have identified themselves, others have not but have answered some of our questions to at least satisfy us they appear to be PDs. It should also be noted the context and tenor of the emails and the subjects they all mentioned were remarkably similar. So after reading this log in and respond- are things okay dokey at 14th street, or are there problems? We will print the responses on a front page post.)
ITEM: RAISES FOR SOME.
There is no money for raises. Yet-one very highly placed administrator's salary went up $49,000.00 from 2002 to 2006.
ITEM: DRESS CODE FOR JAIL: Work for the PDs and go to jail. Do not pass Go, do not speak with silent Charlie, and DO NOT WEAR JEANS.
Yup. If morale wasn't bad enough in these tough times with no raises except for a few feeding at the public trough, the PDs are now being yelled at for their out of court dress.
There are other issues. A few PDs raised an issue of nepotism to us, but while we confirmed some details, others are still murky- but this issue has some assistant PDs upset.
A few other PDs raised the issue of a supervisor accosting people in a parking lot on a few occasions and on one occasion rifling through the files of another PD while that PD was on vacation looking for evidence that the PD on vacation was not taking enough depos.
There have been in our emails even more serious and insidious allegations, but we can't confirm all the details, so we just write this so that the leaders at 14th street know we know about them, and apparently so does some major media outlets in our community. Maybe they amount to nothing. And maybe they don't. We'll be here to see.
So there you have it: all the makings of a revolt in PD land. Morale is rock bottom, and the guy at the top ain't saying nuttin (just like they tell their clients to do. ) All they can do is threaten our humble blog.
In the history of the blog there have only been two other people to threaten to shut us down- one got disbarred but still shoots us threatening emails every now and then, and the other faded into obscurity, having achieved nothing. And now, it appears possibly some of the top people at the PDs office may be joining that august group of malcontents.
Here's a piece of advice: Try looking in a mirror and cleaning up your own house first. Either I work there, or a whole lot of your people are upset and talking. The blog is not your problem; morale is.
We should all be on the same side here. The Dade PDs office produced some of the finest lawyers in this country. We here at the blog don't want them to fail. We want the PDs office to carry on the proud tradition and do the normally excellent job of defending their clients that the attorneys have historically done.
We used to feel the same way about the SAO, but since Janet Reno left that office has descended deeper and deeper into a bureaucratic morass killing the innovative spirt of all who work there. We would hate to see the same thing happen to the PDs office. But that's the way it appears they are heading. It is true Mr. Martinez hasn't had a full year yet to get things running, and he is entitled to more time. But currently some of his employees are upset, and they're talking.
Here's our advice:
Ease up a bit. Let the attorneys wear jeans to the jail and keep your eye on the ball- serving your clients. The rest is just BS.
See you in court, getting PD tips all the time.