Tuesday, December 22, 2009
MORE ON SILENT CHARLIE'S PD OFFICE
The Dade Public Defender's office and all Public Defender offices across the state feel they are under direct attack from the Florida Senate led by Senator Victor Crist. Crist sees the Regional Counsel's office as the answer for the State's quest to provide affordable representation to indigent defendants in Florida while reducing expenses. Ever since the lawsuit challenging the creation of the Regional Counsels Office, Crist has put the Public Defenders offices budgets directly in his target sightline. Crist didn't like what the PDs did, and he intends to get even.
In Dade County the Public Defender's office has gone to the 3rd DCA in their much ballyhooed attempt to be able to withdraw from representation based solely on high existing caseloads. But as we wrote last week, Silent Charlie's real game plan is not to swamp the Regional Counsel's Office, but to starve it, by keeping as many cases within his own office as possible. High caseloads=high budgets. Give Silent Charlie credit for feinting left while going right. A masterful move if we may say so ourselves.
We have now learned that this plan was placed into effect at least two years ago, when the first hint of a second public defender's office wrinkled the nose of Silent Charlie and his danish eating sidekick.
Remember when the Public Defender's office assigned TWO C PDs to each felony division to handle the high case load of third degree felonies? Well, Silent Charlie put a stop to that when he realized that he needed high case loads to protect and preserve his budget. As early as two years ago, BEFORE the current budget crisis struck state governments, Silent Charlie stopped assigning two C PDs to each courtroom. This accounts for the high case loads, like 700 plus for APD Jay Kolsky, the hardest working PD in Miami and the "James Brown of the PD's office".
Silent Charlie and his mouthpieces will tell you that budget cuts caused him to remove the second C level PD. But don't let him fool you. Silent Charlie removed the second PDs before the budget cuts. And while we're on the subject of budget cuts, just how many C level PDs could Silent Charlie hire if he didn't have his old boss on retainer as an advisor while paying for his office to boot?
How many other State agencies during this time of fiscal crisis have former employees on salary as "advisors" while paying for a private office for the advisor?
The problem is Silent Charlie won't answer these questions, which is why is has the Nom d'blog of Silent Charlie.