Oil Leak? Just Blow It Up; And the Letter That Began a Romance

First I need to give props to none other than a Republican congressman out of Georgia, a fellow named Phil Gingrey. He threw down some common sense regarding the oil leak in the Gulf. Here it goes:

For the life of me, I can't understand why BP couldn't go into the ocean floor, maybe ten feet lateral to the -- around the periphery -- drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently.

And although I didn't ask him that question yesterday -- I think I had three minutes -- if we get another bite at that apple, I'm going to ask that question, over and over again. What is going on here?

I feel like, and I've had people advise me -- people in my own district, by the way, who have a lot of experience in mining, say that this could be done.

It's so obvious. You pound that mother-loving hole until it's sucking sand. It's the first trick -- and we haven't even had a national discussion about it yet. The problem is that BP won't blow it up because they don't want to lose that well. We'll have to do it (i.e., the military). I just wish Obama would figure that out. It doesn't help that the leading voice of the left, Rachel Maddow, ridiculed Gingrey for his common-sense idea (and did it in dishonest fashion by making fun of the nuclear option, which he didn't even raise). At this point, we have an oil leak capped by a tower of babble.

OK, done with that rant. Onto important local matters. I think I've found the letter that began the relationship between lawyer David Bogenschutz and his former client, Ana Gardiner. Yes, the rumors are true. Bogenschutz publicly acknowledged the romance this week. You can read the letter after the jump.

No, it's not a love letter; it's another classic cease-and-desist letter.

On April 11, 2008, I was wrapping up my investigative report on Gardiner's improper relationships with lawyers, including then-prosecutor Howard Scheinberg. She wouldn't return my phone calls, so I made a visit to her courtroom. After she had wrapped up her court session and everybody but a few court employees was gone, I introduced myself and asked her if she would answer a few questions. She knew I was doing the story; I had not only left her a detailed phone message about it but the courthouse was already buzzing about it. Gardiner smiled and said, "No."

I asked questions anyway; then she motioned for the bailiff, and I left. When I got back, I learned that I had been sent a letter from David Bogenschutz, who wrote that he had been retained by Gardiner that day and claimed I had made some "inappropriate actions" while court was "still in session." There was more: 

My client, and others, have advised me that a reporter from the New Times, whom we believe to have been Bob Norman, entered Judge Gardiner's courtroom, as the docket was winding down, stood up and shouted questions at the Court of an extremely personal and inappropriate nature which were not answered by the Court. When the Court declined to answer these questions, Mr. Norman, again in a loud voice, asked other questions confronting the court a second time... and was required to be escorted from the Courtroom by a Sheriff's deputy. Allegedly he identified himself as a Sun-Sentinel reporter.

This kind of blatantly contemptuous conduct, if true, will not be tolerated. If Mr. Norman, or any other reporter, conducts himself in a fashion similar to that which occurred today, and, if true, reflect in a significantly negative manner on your publication, his actions will be dealt with as anyone else who would openly disrupt a proceeding in the Circuit Court.

Moreover, the content of his remarks and their suggestions were so outrageous on information and belief, so as to cause Judge Gardiner to retain counsel, expend funds, and to be personally insulted and embarrassed as well as obstructing the orderly administration of justice in her courtroom. With all due respect to you and your paper, this outrageous conduct must cease and desist.


The letter was full of inaccuracies and mischaracterizations (the topper is the claim that I represented myself as a Sun-Sentinel reporter!). It was the beginning of Gardiner's long trail of deception, if you believe the JQC report. But ultimately, it was just a futile attempt to get some answers -- and the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the judge and the lawyer.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman