So former Rothstein law partner Russell Adler -- the A in RRA -- is going to trial to fight an attempt by bankruptcy attorneys to recoup $1.2 million in gains Adler received from his old firm.
The brunt of the clawback stems from hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid "loans" Rothstein gave Adler above his $300,000 salary, including money to pay for a $475,000 apartment in New York City.
Adler, who was the chief ambulance chaser in the RRA firm (i.e., head of the firm's personal injury practice), has claimed complete ignorance of the fact that Rothstein was a crook since the Ponzi scheme imploded. The Daily Business Journal quoted Adler in a revealing article on his deposition as telling bankruptcy attorney Chuck Lichtman: "He [Rothstein] had me totally fooled, and apparently that was true for the governor, the sheriff, the state's attorney..."
Those words presaged attempts by his attorney, Fred Haddad, to call folks like Sheriff Al Lamberti, former Gov. Charlie Crist, and U.S. Sen. John McCain, who all cozied up to Rothstein for the giant campaign contributions he gave them. That way, he can get all these high-ranking officials to come into court and say they thought Rothstein was an upstanding businessman too.
It's true that anybody off the street could see that things stank at RRA long before the scheme blew up. Rothstein came out of nowhere and started throwing millions around like dimes. In Adler's case, he had to know full well that the law firm was, as I wrote back in October 2008, a house of cards. The warning signs were everywhere that the guy was a massive fraud. Adler knew that Rothstein was pumping the firm up with millions of dollars, and he happily rode the paper tiger until it crumpled to the floor.
But big money -- be it in the form of campaign cash or a lawyer's pay -- has a way of blurring some folks' sense of propriety. The pile of money gets in the way of their line of sight. Who are these people? Unfortunately, judging by Adler's witness list, it's the folks who run the county, state, and country.
Inside, an explanation of the photograph at the top of the page.
That's School Board member Jennifer Gottlieb enjoying a JROTC event.
So why did I put it on the blog?
A couple of reasons. One is that the JROTC is a big emphasis for a public official -- Gottlieb is such a large supporter of the program, which is aligned with the school district, that she's been made an honorary colonel.
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The other -- more important, in this instance -- reason is that it's a funny and entertaining photograph. It would make a great caption contest.
After a recent post about Gottlieb's vanity school, Beachside Montessori Village, a Gottlieb supporter or two (they were anonymous) came on the Pulp to say that I "hate" Gottlieb and basically want to destroy her political career. I replied that was untrue, that I liked Gottlieb, in part because she has supplied such great material for the blog.
That was a little glib, but it's true. Gottlieb, for a number of reasons, is a Pulp celebrity. There are others (Stacy Ritter comes to mind). I'm not entirely sure why some reach the celeb level and some don't, but it's an interesting phenomenon. I honestly don't know if that is good for her political career or bad. In some cases, it doesn't seem a good thing, but that's usually when it's loaded with seeming ethical proprieties (Ken Keechl is an example).
The big point: On this blog, you're going to get breaking news stories of huge import at times, and at others, it's just for fun. That's all.