JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
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. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.
Monday, August 03, 2020
ELECTION 2020 - POLLS ARE OPEN .......
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
STATE ATTORNEY & JUDICIAL ELECTIONS 2020
Beginning today and for the next 14 days you will have the opportunity to vote for the candidates of your choice as Early Voting is now officially open in Miami-Dade County. Election day takes place on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. *Early voting dates, times, and locations can be found here.
There are seven contested judicial elections this year with five contests in Circuit Court and two more in County Court. Three incumbent Circuit Court Judges face opposition: Judge Thomas Rebull faces off against three time candidate Denise Martinez-Scanziani. Is the third time a charm? Judge Dava Tunis faces her first ever contested election in her 20 years on the bench (five in County and fifteen in Circuit) as she has been challenged by another three time candidate, Rosy Aponte. Is the third time a charm, for her? Judge Mavel Ruiz beat an Incumbent six years ago to win her seat; now the tables are turned as attorney Marcia Hansen tries to unseat Ruiz.
In County Court, two Incumbent Judges face opposition: Judge Joseph Mansfield is challenged by attorney Miguel "Mike" Mirabal. Mirabal lost to Judge Milena Abreu in 2018. Also, Judge Christine Bandin faces off against attorney Shaun Spector. In two other Circuit Court races, Olanike Adebayo faces Joe Perkins. Adebayo lost a County Court race in 2018 to Judge Sosa-Bruzon. Perkins lost a Circuit Court race the same year to Judge Yery Marrero. Finally, Carmen Cabarga squares off against Roderick Vereen.
Looking at the fundraising numbers, in Circuit Court, on the one extreme, incumbent Judge Thomas Rebull has raised $385,731 from 932 contributors as he faces a challenge from attorney Denise Martinez-Scanziani, while, on the extreme opposite end, attorney Rosy Aponte has only raised $3,700 from five contributors as she challenges incumbent Judge Dava Tunis. In County Court, neither candidate in Group 9 seems much interested in raising funds for their campaigns as incumbent Joe Mansfield has only raised $7,200 while his opponent Mike Mirabal has raised only $9,625.
In the race for State Attorney, incumbent Katherine Fernandez Rundle is challenged by ACLU attorney Melba Pearson. Interestingly, KFR has raised $580,650 from 1,281 contributors, (for an average contribution of $453), while Ms. Pearson has only raised $162,779 but from 300 more contributors, (for an average contribution of $103).
Katherine Fernandez Rundle (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $3,764,822
- she has raised $580,650 from 1,281 contributors and she has loaned her campaign $50,000. To date, she has spent $473,000 on her campaign
- she is paid $169,554 by the State of Florida
- she has a net worth of $182,395
- she has raised $162,779 from 1,581 contributors and loaned her campaign $0. To date, she has spent $152,000 on her campaign
- her primary source of income is from the ACLU of Florida where she is paid $116,769
CIRCUIT COURT CONTESTED RACES
GROUP 55 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Jeri Beth Cohen retiring)
Olanike "Nike" Adebayo
- she has a net worth of $39,981
- she has raised $96,347 from 427 contributors and loaned her campaign $11,604. To date, she has spent $101,000 on her campaign
- she is an attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflicts with a salary of $60,000
- she was a candidate for County Court in 2018. She was defeated by Judge Eleane Sosas-Bruzon 56% to 44%
- he has a net worth of $575,000
- he has raised $132,794 from 181 contributors and loaned his campaign approximately $54,000. To date, he has spent $94,000 on his campaign
- he is an attorney with Garbett Allen & Roza with a salary of $165,000
- he was a candidate for Circuit Court in 2018. He lost his race to Judge Yery Marrero 53% to 47%
GROUP 57 (OPEN SEAT - Judge Bernard Shapiro retiring)
- she has a net worth of $231,000
- she has raised $78,974 from 219 contributors and loaned her campaign $145,000. To date, she has spent $138,000 on her campaign
- she took out a HELOC in the amount of $100,000 and borrowed another $45,000, all from Iberia Bank
- she is an attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflicts with a salary of $65,000
- he has a net worth of $2,189,086
- he has raised $30,945 from 136 contributors and has loaned his campaign $10,000. To date, he has spent only $7,400 on his campaign
- he owns his own law firm and pays himself a salary of $650,000
- he ran for Congress in 2010 as a Independent against Fredricka Wilson and lost 86% to 14%.
- he then ran as a Democrat in 2012 for State Attorney against Katherine Fernandez Rundle, losing 60% - 40%.
Thomas Rebull (Incumbent)
- he has a net worth of $366,509
- he has raised $385,731 from 932 contributors and loaned his campaign $5,000. To date, he has spent a whopping $299,000 on his campaign
- he is paid $160,688 from the State of Florida
- he was first appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. He ran unopposed in 2014.
- she has a net worth of $1,423,019
- she has raised $46,721 from 109 contributors and loaned her campaign $20,000. To date, she has spent $40,000 on her campaign
- she is self-employed and had income last year of $323,657.
- she first ran in 2008 against Incumbent Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro losing 59% - 41%.
- she next ran in 2016 in retiring Judge Gill Freeman's Group against three opponents. The primary results faired no better for her: Mark Blumstein (29%); Luis Perez-Medina (25%); Renee Gordon (24%); and Ms. Martinez-Scanziani (23%).
Mavel Ruiz (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $199,459
- she has raised $174,069 from 437 contributors and loaned her campaign $78,000. To date, she has spent $171,000 on her campaign
- she has a salary of $160,688 as a Circuit Court Judge
- she was elected in 2014 over Incumbent Judge Fleur Lobree winning by a 54% - 46% margin
- she was one of the judges along with retired Judge Cindy Lederman and Judges Marcia Caballero, Rosa Figarola, and Teresa Pooler that received a written reprimand from the Supreme Court because of a letter they signed that backed Our Kids of Miami-Dade & Monroe, Inc. as it competed with another organization for a Department of Children and Families multi-year contract worth approximately $500 million.
Marcia Giordano Hansen
- she has a net worth of $996,788
- she has raised $54,710 from 210 contributors and loaned her campaign $50,200. To date, she has spent $86,000 on her campaign
- she is an attorney with The Hansen Law Firm with a salary
Dava Tunis (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $3,027,790
- she has raised $113,973 from 297 contributors and loaned her campaign $150,000. To date, she has spent $210,000 on her campaign
- she has a salary of $160,791 as a Circuit Court Judge
- she was first appointed by Governor Bush in 2005. She ran unopposed in 2008 and again ran unopposed in 2014. She has never faced an opponent.
- she has a net worth of $315,000
- she has raised $3,700 from 5 contributors and loaned her campaign $74,374. To date, she has spent $36,000 on her campaign
- she is a solo practitioner with R. Aponte & Assoc. where she paid herself $83,000. She is also a partner in the Felicetti Law Firm where she was paid an additional $120,000
- she ran for a County Court seat against Judge Kristy Nunez in 2018, losing that race by 52 % to 48%.
- she ran for a Circuit Court seat against Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts and Carol Breece in 2016. Ms. Aponte failed to make the runoff as she gained only 26% of the vote compared to Rodrgiuez Fonts (34%) and Breece (40%) in the Primary.
-In 2014, in a Hearing before Bankruptcy Judge Cristol on November 14, here is what the Judge had to say: (directly from the court transcript)
"THE COURT: Okay. We have a number of matters on the calendar. However, the Court will go first to Court Paper 526, and Court Paper 526 is the debtor's motion for rehearing, and on Page 2 of that motion Ms. Aponte states that the issues presented in the case are beyond her area of expertise.
Now, Ms. Aponte apparently filed a motion to withdraw, but then didn't show up to prosecute it. Some other attorneys came in who had not complied with Section 329 of the Code, and there had been no order authorizing substitution, so the Court did not allow them to appear.
In this case, based on Ms. Aponte's admission in her pleadings that she's not -- she's working within the area of expertise, it appears that Ms. Aponte is in violation of Florida Bar Rule 4-1.1, competence, and, therefore, should not be allowed to continue in this case or any other case in any Bankruptcy Court in the United States. And, therefore, the Court will draw such an order barring her from any further appearance until such time as she can demonstrate competence. And the Court will refer this matter to the Florida Bar." IN RE: Walter A. Lista. Case No. 13-22662-AJC. Doc. 551. Page 4. (NOTE: There is no indication that Ms. Aponte was ever disciplined by The Florida Bar for this or any other matter).
COUNTY COURT CONTESTED RACES
Joseph Mansfield (Incumbent)
- he has a net worth of $268,909
- he has raised $7,200 from 12 contributors and loaned his campaign $0
- his salary with the State of Florida is $151,822
- he was appointed by Gov. Scott in August of 2017
Miguel "Mike" Mirabal
- he has a net worth of $1,684,634
- he has raised $9,625 from 22 contributors and has loaned his campaign $47,500
- he runs his own law firm, Global Legal, with a salary of $95,750
- he ran for a County Court seat against Judge Milena Abreu in 2018, losing that race by 65% to 35%
Christine Bandin (Incumbent)
- she has a net worth of $540,979
- she has raised $78,340 from 199 contributors and loaned her campaign $5,500
- she is paid $151,822 by the State of Florida
- she was appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott in October of 2018.
- he has a negative net worth of [-205,256] YES THAT IS NEGATIVE
- he has raised $10,354 from 30 contributors and loaned his campaign $6,100
- he has been an attorney for nine years and runs his own law firm in Coral Gables where he primarily practices commercial litigation and pays himself $78,690
CAPTAIN OUT .......