Dear Editor, On behalf of the Office of the State Attorney I wish to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences on the unexpected passing of Chief Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga. Our wish is that we honor his memory by acknowledging his great accomplishments. Manny was a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. He was first hired by State Attorney Kirk Zuelch in 1990 straight out of Law School. While at the State Attorney Office Manny distinguished himself by prosecuting some [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. It’s 4:45 p.m. in New Town, Key West. A silver Honda has just crashed into the car of two rangers from Dry Tortugas National Park. The Honda driver, reeking of alcohol, is stumbling away from the scene toward Duck Avenue. He is Robert Bethel, the 34-year-old son of Harry Bethel, a former City Commissioner.
STATE ATTORNEY SPOKESMAN: “WE STILL THINK IT’S OBVIOUS THAT ROBERT DEAN LIVES IN KEY HAVEN.” BUT, BY LAW, THAT OPINION IS TRUMPED BY THE CANVASSING BOARD. Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. A couple of weeks ago, Bob Dean– through his attorney, Michael Halpern– virtually slapped State Attorney Catherine Vogel right in the face. Following a voting fraud investigation last month, Vogel concluded that Dean may have been voting illegally in Key West for years– because, she said, he doesn’t live in Key West. He lives [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The documents often begin with: “I, J. Robert Dean do solemnly swear” and thereafter the facts seem to change and contradict each other depending on what Dean needs to do to stay in power. On Wednesday Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority [FKAA] Board Chairman Bob Dean provided Supervisor of Elections, Joyce Griffin, with a new sworn affidavit. In response to those who accuse Dean of unlawfully sitting on the FKAA Board and of not being a Key West resident, Dean now [continue reading…]
Supervisor of Elections, Joyce Griffin, confirms that FKAA Board Chairman Bob Dean voted in the City election during the early voting period that ended Saturday. Dean was given a “provisional ballot” in light of the “Voter Challenge” filed by State Attorney Catherine Vogel last month. This means that his vote will not be counted unless the City of Key West Canvassing Board decides to accept Dean’s proof of residency in Key West. A State Attorney investigation concluded last month that Mr. Dean resided in Key Haven [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Is the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority taking on water? Two weeks ago an FKAA board member, Melva Wagner, was forced to resign. She had continued receiving benefits and payments as a board member even though she had moved away from her district almost a year ago. This week it’s FKAA’s Chairman, J Robert Dean, who seems to be walking the plank. “I have reason to believe,” wrote State Attorney Catherine Vogel, after concluding her criminal investigation, “that James Robert Dean is attempting [continue reading…]
State Attorney Catherine Vogel wants to warn the public of a new scam that was reported to the Monroe County State Attorney Office. Someone reporting to be from the Sheriff’s Office contacted a resident threatening them with an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for a Grand Jury session. The caller then told the resident to obtain cash cards to pay a fine or risk immediate arrest. The State Attorney Office wants to caution all residents that if you are ever called and informed that [continue reading…]
I need your help. Specifically, I need your help in convincing Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter and the Monroe County School District to comply with Florida law and fulfill my public records requests. You have some awareness of this situation because I began copying you recently on my correspondence with the District and its representatives. On May 30, 2015, I filed three public records requests with the District. One was an original request and two were follow-ups to previous requests. The District promptly acknowledged the [continue reading…]
On behalf of the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office, State Attorney Catherine Vogel presented Val Winter with the designation of “Prosecutor of the Year 2014” for his outstanding efforts supervising misdemeanors and tireless devotion to the prosecution of major crime cases. Val is an Assistant State Attorney at the State Attorney’s Office in Key West. “Val is most deserving of this honor,” said State Attorney Catherine Vogel.
by Catherine Vogel, State Attorney… The legalization of medical marijuana in Florida seems inevitable. Last year the ballot initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to allow medical marijuana failed by a slim margin. Any amendment to the Florida Constitution requires passage by 60%. The initiative garnered 57.6% of the vote. Here in Monroe County, the vote was 70% in favor of the amendment. Those in favor of the amendment have vowed to raise the signatures to put it back on the ballot again in 2016. [continue reading…]
On behalf of the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office, State Attorney Catherine Vogel presented Anna Hubicki with the designation of “Employee of the Quarter” for her outstanding work in the Misdemeanor Divisions. Anna is an Assistant State Attorney at the State Attorney’s Office in Key West. This award is certainly well deserved; Anna was victorious in a jury trial that was held in Marathon when a jury pool was not available in Key West. “She is most deserving of this honor,” said State Attorney Catherine [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly How many times have FDLE Investigators discovered evidence that indicated a law-enforcement officer had committed a crime? On how many occasions were ‘criminally deficient cops’ brought to trial and found guilty? The following excerpts (In bold black print) were taken from a brilliantly authored document that was prepared by Chairman Allison DeFoor’s “Project on Accountable Justice”. It was examined on Monday (1-5-15) by the Florida Senate. This manuscript identifies in part, a disturbing ‘investigative relationship’ that exists between the Florida Department of [continue reading…]
State Attorney Catherine Vogel’s office is corrupt. This statement might appear to some readers to be an attempt on my part to be a bit sensational. But it’s not. Informed government-watchers reading this are more likely to simply yawn and silently ask, “So what’s your point?” I have been reporting to my readers for years the varying degrees of corruption on the part of the various residents of the State Attorney’s Office (SAO). I have repeatedly pointed out that prosecutors knowingly allow police officers to [continue reading…]
Commentary by Naja Girard……. “This allows the prosecutor to say I didn’t take the decision. The Grand Jury did it. The people did it. But of course, how vigorously the prosecutor presents the case is everything. It’s just the prosecutor presenting a case to these Grand Jurors. If the DA doesn’t want an indictment or has questions it could be a very different thing.” – Dan Abrams, “Nightline” anchor and Chief Legal Affairs anchor for ABC News, when speaking about the Grand Jury proceedings in [continue reading…]