This week, the bizarro nature of Broward County really hit home.
This week, Scott Rothstein stood in a courtroom shackled in chains and apologized before he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
This week, Joe Eggelletion waved goodbye in handcuffs and cried as he apologized for his own corruption.
And the State Attorney's Office is getting cooperation from a dirty developer and Eggelletion himself in cracking more corruption cases and making more arrests.
It's all so surreal. These things were unthinkable this time last year. You start to think that things really are changing around here. We'll see.
-- Scott Rothstein is coming back to haunt John McCain, whose presidential campaign received more than $1 million in stolen Ponzi money from Rothstein and his law firm associates.
Now the congressman challenging him for his Senate seat is throwing Rothstein in McCain's face. Here are highlights from an Associated Press article:
PHOENIX (AP) - A now-disbarred Florida lawyer who admitted to orchestrating a huge Ponzi scheme gave more than $180,000 to Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, contributions that McCain's Senate rival is now making an issue in their competitive primary.
... The campaign of former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging McCain in Arizona's Aug. 24 Republican primary, demanded that the four-term senator account for and donate all of the money connected to Rothstein.
"McCain can't have
it both ways. He can't be the champion of campaign finance reform one day and then take more than a million dollars from a convicted felon the next day," Hayworth spokesman Mark Sanders said.
... Rothstein's fraud didn't come to light until a year after the presidential race, and Rogers said it was ridiculous for the Hayworth campaign to try to link McCain to a Ponzi scheme through the shenanigans of one former fundraiser.
"This is absurd, but not surprising given Congressman Hayworth's warped view of reality," Rogers said.
McCain's campaign has attacked Hayworth's ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was sentenced in September 2008 to four years in prison on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.
You can read the entire article here. It won't be the last we'll see of Rothstein being thrown in politicians' faces.
-- Of all the buyers at the recent auction of Scott Rothstein's former toys, the most mystery surrounded the buyer of the Princess Kimberly yacht for $2.51 million.
Well, the Pulp has learned that the buyer is a man named Nabil Chartouni. Who is Nabil Chartouni? Well, my best guess is that he is this big-time London businessman who sometimes works in Florida. It's not confirmed yet that it's the same Nabil Chartouni, but it's an Interesting buy if it is him.
-- And finally we have the new law firm photo for former Broward Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner, who resigned rather than face a Judicial Qualifications Commission trial for having improper communication with former prosecutor Howard Scheinberg during a murder trial and then lying about it.
She recently had a going-away party at the Riverside Hotel; JAABlog reported:
"Stalwart gal pals Ilona Holmes, Susan Lebow, Mily Rodriguez-Powell, and Marina Garcia Wood were reportedly on scene, as were campaigners Jack Luzzo, Peter Skolnik, and Jay Hurley. The only other judge we heard about was John Frusciante, who is about to retire and set up shop as a mediator. The crowd was mostly comprised of civil lawyers, including many from Cole, Scott & Kissane. Howard Scheinberg's lawyer, Bruce Lyons, was also in attendance. Another shameful day for Broward, when a judge resigns in disgrace, and they throw her a party which other judges attend."
Her bio at the law firm follows:
Ana I. Gardiner is a partner with the firm's Ft. Lauderdale office. She provides counseling and defense in the areas of commercial litigation, family law, hospital and physician related matters, general civil litigation, government relations, premises liability, product liability and professional malpractice.
In 1998 Ms. Gardiner was appointed as the first Hispanic woman judge to the Circuit Court for the Seventeen Judicial Circuit, in and for Broward County, Florida.
From 1998 to 2010, Ms. Gardiner presided over a Circuit Court Civil Division, a Circuit Court Criminal Division and a Repeat Offender Court Division. For more than a decade on the Bench, she served in a wide and diverse array of assignments, including as the Administrative Judge for all Circuit Criminal Divisions, Supreme Court Mentor to new Circuit Court judges, liaison for all Broward County judges to the Broward County Bar Association and voting member of the Public Safety Coordinating Council.
Ms. Gardiner was appointed by her peers, statewide, to the Executive Committee for the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges as Chairperson of the Civil Circuit Section and taught other Circuit Judges on a variety of legal topics as faculty member of the Education Section of the Conference.
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From 2004 to 2010, she was an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University Law School, where she taught Trial Advocacy Practice and supervised the judicial interns for Broward and Palm Beach County. In addition, she served on the Board of Advisors for St. Thomas Law School.
She received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor degree from Temple University Law School. Ms. Gardiner is a Martindale-Hubbell A.V. rated attorney, and a member of the Florida and Broward County Bars. She is also a past member of the American Inns of Court.
Her community involvement is multi-faceted and extensive. In 1993 Ms. Gardiner was appointed, by the late Governor Lawton Chiles, to the Board of Commissioners of the North Broward Hospital District, and served as Chairperson of the Board from 1997 to 1998. As a Commissioner, she also chaired the Hospital District's Legal Review and Minority Review Committees. She has a vast expertise in hospital and physician related matters. In 2009 she received The Hispanic Woman of Distinction Award from the March of Dimes. She was a member and Chairperson of the Legal Aid Service Board of Broward County Board. Ms. Gardiner was a founding member and president of the Borward County Hispanic Bar Association and still maintains an active membership in that organization, has mentor high school students as part of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor Program and has served as a Guardian Ad Litem for the welfare of the children of Broward County.