THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
A Reminder that the tribute to Judge Tam Wilson is tonight:
A TRIBUTE TO JUDGE THOMAS "TAM" WILSON ..........................
There is a Tribute to Judge Wilson scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the History Miami Museum, 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, 33130. Parking is available across the street in the Cultural Center Parking Garage, at 50 NW 2nd Avenue. The Museum will validate your parking ticket, for a discounted rate. Hope to see you there. Call with any questions. Bruce Alter, 786-497-7078.
AS THE SONG GOES, "WORKING NINE TO FIVE ......."
Well, not anymore, if you are working for the Clerk of Court, in Broweird County.
According to a story that appeared in the DBR last week, don't expect to get any service from any of the employees at Howard Forman's office after 3:30 PM. Clerk's offices are terminating employees, placing a hiring freeze on current staff, and going to the shorter hours, all to compensate for the decrease in funding from the Florida Legislature and their 2015-16 budget. Those moves, along with requiring all employees in Broward taking one unpaid furlough day every month through October, are some of the ways Clerk's offices throughout the State are using in an attempt to balance the budget.
According to Forman's office, Broward needed to slash $2 million from its $40 million budget by Oct. 1. To do so, they cut daily operating hours beginning on July 20 to close their offices to the public at 3:30 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. in a move likely to affect court filings across all divisions in the long run.
The Florida Bar News covers the story in their August 1, 2015 edition under the headline: "Clerks struggle with $22-million shortfall". In the article, it starts off with quotes from officials in Palm Beach and Leon County.
“We are well aware that these drastic measures will cause disruption to our court operations, including substantial delays in docketing times and issuance of defaults and summonses.” — Palm Beach County Clerk Sharon Bock, in a memo to Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath.
“We have no options but to change the way we do business and deliver services. . . .We would anticipate that there will be delays in the delivery of services, reductions in the hours we are open, and, to some extent, the quality of work we do.” — Leon County Clerk Bob Inzer, in a memo to Chief Judge Jonathan Sjostrom and other court managers.
No word from our Clerk of Courts, Harvey Ruvin on what affect the budget cuts will have on our court system locally.
ALSO NORTH OF THE BORDER, JUDGE ROSENTHAL WORKS OUT A PLEA DEAL WITH THE JQC .....
What is the penalty for getting popped for a DUI, later pled to a Reckless Driving, and then appearing before the JQC and providing them with misleading and incomplete statements during her testimony on an ethics investigation based on the DUI case?
If the Florida Supreme Court accepts Judge Lynn Rosenthal's plea deal worked out with the JQC, (and there is no guarantee they will, having rejected two other recent plea deals on other state court judges), the penalties would include: a 90 day unpaid suspension, a public reprimand, 12 hours of continuing legal education in ethics, family counseling, and repayment of fees and costs related to the JQC investigation.
ELECTION CENTRAL .......
Here in Miami-Dade County, Judge Gill Freeman has announced that she will not be seeking re-election in 2016. Judge Freeman, who worked for the firm Ruden, McCloskey from 1981-1997, was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the Circuit Court bench in 1997. She ran unopposed in Group 34 in 1998, 2004, and 2010, serving on the Circuit Court bench for the past 18 years.
As a result, Group 34 has seen two attorneys file for that open seat.
Attorney T. Renee Gordon, the T stands for Thejuana, has been a member of The Florida bar since 1995. She is currently working in the Juvenile Division of the PD's office.
Attorney Denise Martinez-Scanziani, has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2000. She runs her law practice in South Miami with her husband Paul. They handle a wide variety of cases ranging from family law, to foreclosure defense, immigration, etc.
Many of my loyal readers may remember the name Scanziani. I blasted candidate Scanziani in a February 2008 post that you can read here concerning what I perceived as the candidate appealing to the lowest common denominator in our community - her ethnicity. I accused Scanziani of changing her name within five days of filing in two different seats, filing first as Scanziani and then as Martinez-Scanziani.
To Scanziani's credit, she responded to my post. In her unedited response that can be found here, Martinez-Scanziani explained the reasoning behind her name-changing decision. As a footnote to that 2008 filing against Judge Hendon, Martinez-Scanziani eventually withdrew from the race and Judge Hendon went on to win, unopposed.
YOUR NEXT CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE IS .....
TBD (to be determined) by Governor Scott, sometime in the next couple of weeks. Gov. Scott has six names on his desk: Judge Wendell Graham, Judge Lourdes Simon, Judge Jason Dimitris, Judge Charles Johnson, and attorneys Ayana Harris and John Wylie.
Enjoy the next seven days of our not so bad traffic, because, beginning next Monday, August 24th, school is back in session, and with that comes the oh so fun one hour plus commutes to and from the courthouse.
CAPTAIN OUT .......