So Fort Lauderdale lawyer Jim Lewis, who is running
commission, contacted the Pulp about the post below wherein I criticize him for his role in the Gina Marie Marks saga.
"A lot of people read this and man, it's like you're trying to kill my campaign," he said. "I'm one of the good guys here. Why don't you write about the clients of some of my opponents?"
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You know, Lewis isn't a bad guy compared to the veteran political vipers on, say, the Broward County Commission. But I told him that it's not really the nature of his client that had got up my ire, it was his method of defense, i.e. paying off the victims to keep Marks free to commit her cons.
And I reminded him that my personal experience with Marks' victims was the main reason I felt so strongly about it. He told me he's just doing his job and that the strategy of paying restitution in lieu of prosecution is a common strategy in defending Gypsy fortune tellers.
"I'm doing what lawyers are supposed to do, I'm trying to keep my client out of jail," Lewis said. "I try to do my best. If a lot of these people [victims] went to trial, the jury would come back with not-guilty verdicts. They think that if these people are stupid enough to give them that money, then, well, it's sort of like giving money to these televangelists. And in some of these cases, these people wouldn't get anything back if I didn't do my job."
I don't know about that. I've seen cases where prosecutors go all the way and often times the fortune tellers wind up in prison (Linda Marks in Delray is a good example). In the end, we agreed to disagree. I still think his method in regards to Gina Marie Marks stinks. But ultimately it's the Broward State Attorney's Office that needs to take a stronger stand. Because up until now it has only provided a safe haven for Marks to work her scams, despite the long trail of known victims.