Friday, March 27, 2020

Partial Victory for Former Flagler County Supervisor of Elections -- 5th DCA Decision in Kimberle Weeks v. State of Florida

When a Florida Court of Appeals finds the Fifth Amendment rights against double jeopardy violated by four (4) felony convictions, what kind of "journalist" prematurely pronounces the reversal as a victory for State's Attorney RALPH JOEPH LARIZZA and the Flagler County establishment, prejudging future proceedings and acting as the advocate for Flagler County Attorney ALBERT HADDEED?

Is "FlaglerLive," a 501c3, selling its soul?

It wrote: "The judgment is a severe blow against Weeks, who had contended all along that she would ultimately prevail. It was a victory for the State Attorney’s Office, particularly Assistant State Attorney Jason Lewis, who had aggressively prosecuted Weeks as a crude, arrogant official who had abused her position and flouted the law, insulting other people in office while ironically casting herself as an anti-corruption crusader."

FlaglerLive sounds not unlike a line from a story from the former Soviet Union's Pravda or Isvestia.

sounds like it's written by a solipsistic, snarling sorehead, perhaps sexist and misogynist, like the Reagan-Bush era attack on my then-client, Judge Sally Willett, as an "uppity woman" raising concerns about sex discrimination as a Department of the Interior Indian Probate Administrative Law Judge, one of seven I represented (a majority of DOI's ALJs). See Edward Al Slavin, Jr., "ALJ Independence Undermined -- What the Department of the Interior is Doing and Why," 31 ABA Judges Journal 26 (Spring 1992).

Ms. Weeks won a partial victory, vindicating her constitutional rights. Celebration by ALBERT HADEED & his henchmen is, at best, facetious.

Is FlaglerLive too close with the Establishment?

Is FlagleeLive becoming a smug cat's paw for Flagler County's political machine, attacking former elected Democratic woman Supervisor of Elections Ms. Kimberle Weeks, often attacked in sexist, misogynist, vulgar terms -- when she just won a partial victory before the Florida 5th District Court of Appeals?

You tell me.

Update:  Unadorned by the milk of human kindness, twisted tedious termagant Flagler Countuy Attorney ALBERT J. HADEED stayed up past midnight with a twisted soul, writing:

Al Hadeed, County Attorney says

The tactic you are using, listing a lot of complaints against a lot of public officials, is exactly what the Judge who heard all the evidence condemned. The Judge determined, after a trial on the evidence, that Ms. Weeks knowingly filed false allegations. The Judge also found she filed them with a malicious intent to injure the reputations of the public officials she charged.
Moreover, she was not accountable even during this process. Ms. Weeks refused to comply with the Judge’s orders to produce documents and emails, and she refused to sit for a deposition.
The Judge recommended an order against Ms. Weeks of $129,570 in favor of the County. This amount was to reimburse the County’s taxpayers for some of the County’s expenses in defending against her complaints. The Florida Commission on Ethics at another public hearing agreed to the fee award, and the First District Court of Appeal denied Ms. Weeks’ challenge to it.
Not surprisingly, given how she holds herself above the law, she failed to pay the judgment to reimburse the taxpayers of Flagler County. 
The Attorney General for the State of Florida, Ashley Moody, thankfully took note. The Attorney General filed a new complaint against Ms. Weeks in the circuit court in Leon County to collect the delinquent judgment. The Attorney General is seeking a penal judgment with payment of interest at 6.83% dating from 2017 to the date payment is made. The Attorney General also is asking the court to order Ms. Weeks to reimburse the State of Florida for the Attorney General’s labor in having to procure this penal judgment.
As with her trial when the first judge found she had abused the process, Ms. Weeks also attempted to avoid the Attorney General’s service of process of the lawsuit. The Attorney General petitioned the circuit court in Leon County to authorize a private investigator to track Ms. Weeks and serve the paperwork on her due to her suspected evasive behavior. The investigator documented in his report to the court how she attempted to avoid service by hiding.
There also were similar judgments entered against the individuals Ms. Weeks worked with, including Mr. Dennis McDonald. The Attorney General just secured her penal judgment against Mr. McDonald for $79,564 for his false claims, also bearing interest at 6.83% until paid. He hasn’t paid a dime yet either, letting taxpayers take it on the chin while continuing to present himself as some kind of responsible citizen. Birds of a feather….
The anonymous blogger here also claims that the County Judge and myself as the County Attorney wanted to remove some portions of the Canvassing Board’s meeting minutes. We haven’t heard that allegation being repeated for several years. But the Florida Bar investigated that allegation along with numerous other allegations from Ms. Weeks. The Florida Bar worked with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Commission on Ethics to look into the matters Ms. Weeks claimed. After that investigatory effort and a review and determination by an independent committee, the Florida Bar dismissed the allegations in 2016.
While Ms. Weeks has touted her so-called expertise in election matters, every allegation of wrongdoing or misfeasance in the elections ever asserted by Ms. Weeks, including the claimed illegality of Canvassing Board activities, was dismissed as lacking legal and factual merit. That includes her complaints made to the Florida Elections Commission, the Florida Commission on Ethics, and the Florida Secretary of State. That dismal official record rejecting all she has had to offer on elections and ethics includes the court cases with which she has been involved. 
It is indeed ironic that as a convicted felon Ms. Weeks has lost her right to hold public office and to vote until she successfully completes her sentence. Moreover, while abusing the public trust as an elected official, she also leaves the taxpayers of Flagler County holding the bag for thousands of dollars of County expenses incurred and valuable time lost because of her political adventures. 
That’s not much of a legacy for her, but I suspect it will be remembered for awhile.


Appeal Court Upholds 4-Count Felony Convictions Of Kimberle Weeks, Who Will Now Have To Serve Jail Time

Former Elections Supervisor Kimberle Weeks at the end of one of the many hearings that led to her conviction two years ago. (© FlaglerLive)
Former Elections Supervisor Kimberle Weeks at the end of one of the many hearings that led to her conviction two years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

kimberle weeks arrested
Kimberle Weeks’s booking photo when she was initially arrested.
“Weeks argues that because there were only three recorded telephone calls,” the ruling continued, “double jeopardy principles 
“I understand the appellate court’s reasoning, it makes some legal sense, they’ve done that for other crimes too,” Lewis said after the ruling was handed down today. 
“On remand,” the judges ruled, “the trial court shall enter judgment and sentence against Weeks on only three counts of unlawfully intercepting wire communications in addition to the one count of disclosing unlawfully intercepted wire communication.”
“I don’t think it changes anything but I’m not the judge,” Lewis said “Of course the defense can always ask for a re-sentencing to argue that the circumstances have changed.” But, he said, “I can’t say what a judge will or will not do, but in general it’s not going to change what happened during the evidentiary portion of the trial.” 
The case on appeal was decided by Chief Judge Kerry Evander, Judge F. Rand Wallis and Judge Dan Traver, the latter joining the court just last November.

The state initially included counts against Weeks for recording Hadeed and Ericksen, but the circuit court judge, Margaret Hudson, threw out the counts because the recording was found to have been made in the context of a public meeting, even if the material attendants at the meeting had moved to a different part of the supervisor’s office. It was that conversation, however, that was the springboard to the state’s case against Weeks. That case then uncovered numerous other conversations recorded without the consent of those being recorded–a third-degree felony in Florida, in any circumstance when those recorded have a presumption of privacy. 
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Philip Lindley served a warrant on Weeks when she was still the supervisor of elections, just before she resigned in January 2015. Lindley’s search uncovered the additional conversations. In her appeal, Weeks contended that Lindley’s testimony had been improperly “bolstered” by the state. The appeal court agreed, but found that “the admission of such testimony was harmless.” Weeks had also raised four other claims on appeal, all of which the court rejected. 

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