WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

LAST FEW DAYS OF 2010

It's coming down right to the end of the year and while our favourite federal blogger is mailing it in until the new year (a well deserved rest) the courts of Miami Dade are still open and running right through Thursday. Once again state court employees are expecting a half day on Thursday so if you'r planning to pull a bunch of files from the ninth floor one more time this year just for the heck of it, go early.

BRINKSMANSHIP

If you're on the FACDL list-serv (and if you're not, make it you're new years resolution to join) you have been following the travails of a defense attorney who dropped a NOE two weeks ago which expires this week. The last update is that there are not enough jurors to get a full panel this week and the question is how far can the court go and meet the requirement that the trial "begins" before the speedy trial date runs? The case is a capital sexual battery case (why we try cases here that happen in Tallahassee or DC is beyond us) and apparently the state will not be ready until next year.

Query: dropping an NOE that expires the last week of the year- good lawyering or dirty pool?

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE LEGISLATURE:

With the figurative stroke of a pen, or perhaps just a quite aside to an aide, incoming Florida Governor Rick Scott (motto: "what have I gotten myself into?") has abolished the beloved Governor's Office of Drug Control.

January 3, 2011 will be the first day of the new year and te last day of work for all four employees, saving the state $551,300.00 (breakdown $250,000.00 in salaries, $200,000.00 in costs distributing the salary, the rest in paperclips). The duties of the Office will probably be distributed among other state agencies that can carry the ball, including in Rumpole's opinion, "The Office Of State Libraries" (you haven't seen anything until you've seen a librarian on a drug raid); "The Office Of Elderly Affairs (ditto- senior citizens doing reverse stings on street corners in Hallandale are the wave of the future), etc., etc.

On a more serious note is this email (which we edited for space) from Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger

  • The Office of Drug Control was created by then Governor Jeb Bush in 1999 and is authorized by state statutes.
  • The Office collaborates with other agencies on the implementation of a three-pronged approach of Prevention, Treatment and Law Enforcement to eliminate the devastation of substance abuse rampant in Florida's diverse communities.
  • The Office was instrumental in getting legislation passed that is intended to help curb prescription drug abuse — one bill targeting pain management clinics, which are often disguises for "pill mills," and another that establishes a prescription drug monitoring program.
  • The Office championed the creation of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which almost reached the point of going on-line.
  • Prohibited by law to use state funds to pay for the PDMP Director Bruce Grant and his superb staff successfully obtained the necessary funding through federal grants and other sources...

  • The current political leadership in Tallahassee seems to be under the impression that weDO NOT have a significant drug problem in Florida.
  • Governor Scott's spokesman Brian Burgess was quoted in an article that "I don't think we're going to have cocaine bales stacking up on the docks of Miami if we close this office."

  • Obviously, he did not bother to check the facts:
  • Years of lax state laws and a plethora of pain clinics have made Florida a destination for prescription drug traffickers, drug peddling doctors and abusers.
  • The DEA, using its most recent data, says that 49 out of 50 of the top oxycodone prescribers are located in Florida.
  • The number of deaths caused by at least one prescription drug increased more than 100 percent from 2003 to 2009.
  • Mark Fontaine, executive director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, said a recent study showed that substance abuse has a $43 billion negative impact on the state economy due to loss of job productivity, and costs associated with hospital and emergency room visits and incarceration. Fontaine said about 65 percent of Florida inmates have substance abuse problems.
  • A 2009 Florida Department of Law Enforcement study concluded seven people in Florida die every day- ALMOST 2500 FLORIDIANS A YEAR - due to prescription drug abuse.
  • Rumpole says: "Let's get to work."

  • 6 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Bruce Grant and his staff have done a fabulous job. I support the Governor's efforts to cut costs, but not at the expense of a great program like FODCP. I would have hoped his staff would be smarter than that.

    BTDT

    Anonymous said...

    Under the "be careful what you ask for...," there are real old cases that say the sheriff can go out on the street and "round up" jurors at the last minute.

    Don't be surprised if you see a few clerks and bailiffs on the jury.

    Another dirty judge speedy trial trick is starting jury selection with one juror by swearing in Mabell (that idiot bailiff that works for Sam Slom) and then taking a one week recess.

    The ultimate Mickey Mounse speedy trial games are usually set up by the jerk with the robe.

    Anonymous said...

    And the new Statewide Prosecutor is...Former Hillsborough ASA and Former Asst. Dir. of Children and Family Services Nicholas Cox. Word is he was a very well respected ASA in Pam Bondi's office when she was there and well liked by all. Best of luck Mr. Cox.

    eyeonblecher said...

    Blecher opening shop in the Guangdong Province, China. Going into the trading of the renminbi.

    Guy has always been ahead of the curve.

    Anonymous said...

    And what a surprize the choice of Statewide Prosecutor was. Another Supreme Court JNC setup. (Thank you Kathleen Hanrahan.) That decision was made when Cox was recruited by Bondi in order to protect our beloved new governor from the possibility of indictment on state fraud charges related to the $1.7 Billion Medicare Fraud and a possible RICO forfeiture of his $350 Million personal gain from the fraud. No one else had a chance.

    75 invocations of the 5th in one hour. And you don't think at least three of the other applicants would not have looked into that?

    Anonymous said...

    BTDT:

    "I would have hoped his staff would be smarter than that."


    Pretty funny stuff. Maybe you should try stand-up.

    We'll be lucky if Florida isn't taken over by the feds for criminal mis-management before the end of this wingnut's term.