THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
We do our best to keep it light on this Blog, while regularly discussing important issues that affect our criminal justice family.
But, today, a family, and a police department mourn the loss of a brave young police detective, Cesar "Echy" Echaverry. Detective Echaverry was 29 years old when he was shot while on duty Monday night working his job as a Robbery Intervention Detail (RID) Detective. While he bravely fought for his life, his body surrendered and he passed away tonight.
All of the police officers of our community go out to work each day, kiss their loved ones, spouses, children, and then are prepared to take a bullet for us. To make our community safer. Let us never forget the sacrifices they make for us to protect our safety and security.
May God bless Detective Echaverry and may his family gather strength from the prayers of the citizens of our community.
EARLY VOTING CONTINUES ...
... AND SO DOES TESS TYLMAN DIGGING HER FLORIDA BAR & JQC HOLES EVEN DEEPER .....
In her latest desperate move, Tess Tylman is sending text messages to voters phones that include a photo of Governor DeSantis. Next to the Governor's photo are the words stamped in bright red VOIE #90 (a reference to Tylman's location on the ballot). This text violates several Judicial Canons including using Desantis' image as if he is endorsing the candidate and using the Governor's image when DeSantis is also running in the same election and on the same ballot. If by chance Tylman somehow gets more votes than her opponent, Judge Lody Jean, The Captain predicts that it will be a short rein on the bench for Ms. Tylman when the Florida Supreme Court removes her from office.
In other news, we can't help but "like" several of the Comments that have appeared over the past few days in the Justice Building Blog (JBB). Thanks mom and dad for the following:
Captain killing it this election year with his multiple stories on the candidates. Rumpole and Captain thank you for the public service you are providing. Thursday, August 11, 2022 10:51:00 PM
It is true. This coverage blows away the herald. They should just link to this site and call it a day. Friday, August 12, 2022 7:09:00 AM
Cap, I'm loving all this campaign info! Great job. Saturday, August 13, 2022 11:32:00 AM
That’s a pretty nice investigation! Sunday, August 14, 2022 8:29:00 AM
In the DBR story, reporter Michael Adam Mora (who contacted me directly) wrote a story called: 'This Is Gutter Politics': Ethics Question Raised in Miami-Dade Race Between Judge Fred Seraphin and Renier Diaz de la Portilla. Mora writes:
"Ethics experts say it could become problematic if someone could prove to the Florida Supreme Court or the Judicial Qualifications Commission that Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a partner at Diaz de la Portilla Lawyers in Miami, was aware of the distribution of certain campaign materials in the judicial race from the PAC that supports his brother, Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla."
Mora went on to say:
"But when the Justice Building Blog published the news Saturday of the alleged criminal implications, Renier Diaz de la Portilla claimed in an email that the blog is “conducting a nasty third-party campaign against me with what I am told is my opponent’s full knowledge and consent.”***
Our colleague Brian Tannebaum was quoted in the story saying: “This is gutter politics,” said Tannebaum, who is not involved in the Group 5 race. “This is exactly the type of conduct that causes the Florida Supreme Court to remove a judge, and in the Santino case they made that clear.” (Tannebaum was referring to one of the two Florida Supreme Court cases we cited in our story).
Mora went on to say: "Tannebaum said that whether the release of the phone number could lead to Renier Diaz de la Portilla or his brother facing a first-degree misdemeanor, as the anonymous blogger claimed (in the Justice Building Blog), is an academic argument, since one could argue the PAC—a non-governmental entity—disclosed the number in the mailer. Regardless, “If you go down the list,” there are allegedly multiple violations of bar rules and judicial canons."
***In response to Diaz de la Portilla's allegations that his opponent (Judge Seraphin) has full knowledge and provided consent for our posts, we just had to laugh out loud (LOL). Judge Seraphin may read the Blog and would therefore have knowledge as to what we have written. We can assure you that we have not contacted Judge Seraphin and asked for his permission or blessing to post what we have written.
ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES, THAT IS THE QUESTION .....
A debate broke out in the Comments section of the Blog last week about whether we should continue with the election of judges, or turn to the appointment system (the one used for open seats, and appointments to the appellate courts and Florida Supreme Court).
One Commenter stated:
"651 what bad or extreme appointments has Desantis made in our trial courts? None." Thursday, August 11, 2022 8:39:00 AM
Let me respond to 8:39 AM by answering his question with a question. Governor DeSantis claims that diversity is of his highest priority when it comes to the appointment of judges. My question is - is he being honest with the citizens of the State of Florida when he makes that statement; is he being honest with himself?
Between January of 2019 when DeSantis was sworn into office and August of 2022, DeSantis has made a total of 191 judicial appointments. Of those 191 appointments, here are the "diverse" numbers he speaks of:
A total of 123 of those judicial appointments were from a group whose resumes included the previous jobs of ASA’s, AUSA’s, and/or AAG’s. Of the 123, a total of 72 of those appointments were pulled directly from one of those three offices. Can you guess how many APDs/FAPDs were appointed directly out of their offices - TWO, THAT’S RIGHT TWO, VERSUS 72. Federal Assistant PD Ayana Harris was appointed to the Miami-Dade County Court in December of 2019. Assistant PD Barry Dickson was appointed to the Escambia County Court in September of 2020.
The answer to my question, if you are being honest with yourself, is NO. DeSantis’ appointments have been anything but diverse.