Friday March 28, 2014 was the last day at work for Assistant State Attorney Phil Maniatty. For thirty seven years he has hauled the mail, shown up to work and done his job and done it very well. Along the way he earned the well deserved reputation as a fair and honest prosecutor. Phil was the type of prosecutor you could sit down with before trial and explain your defense without worrying that he would try and change his witnesses testimony.
When Phil started as an ASA the State Attorney was a tall, imposing, balding man with one good eye named Richard E Gerstein. For you ASA's born in the 1980's, the building you work in is named after him. When Phil started work at the Dade SAO they didn't have computers, much less cell phones and Al Gore had not yet invented the internet. A couple of guys named Gates and Allen were testing a program called DOS for their fledgling company called Microsoft. Apple was just a fruit and coffee cost maybe a quarter, but you could probably get a cup of joe for a dime at the S & S. You dialed a phone with your finger in a rotary dial. The State Attorneys Office was on six, the PDs on
Phil Maniatty came from a time when lawyers made deals and shook hands and that was all you needed to know your case was settled. Especially if the prosecutor was Phil. A person's word was his/her bond and pleas and sentences in cases weren't governed by a slew of minimum mandatory sentences and they didn't have to be approved by civilians who weren't lawyers. Defendants did about a third of their sentences and lives weren't ruined by 40 year sentences on probation violations. Common sense and experience governed pleas and sentences.
We wish Phil well in his well deserved retirement. More time for poker and handicapping and the small pleasures in life.
Be well Phil Maniatty.