The Pervert Cop and the Prosecutor

I said I'd dig a little deeper on the case of perv cop Charles Grady, and I did. There has been a lot of speculation that one reason the former BSO deputy was let off easy for his on-duty sex-related crimes against women was because he was politically connected.

I learned that Grady did in fact date one of State Attorney Michael Satz's most loyal and prized prosecutors, Elizabeth Scherer-Mercer, who is also the daughter of downtown courthouse powerbroker Bill Scherer. But it's a complicated story. Here are the basics:

Liz Scherer married her husband, Anthony Mercer, in 2002. It didn't go well, and they separated sometime in 2003. Scherer-Mercer met Grady, the deputy, in her official capacity, and they dated on and off for a couple of years. Bill Scherer didn't agree with his daughter's leaving the marriage (apparently Bill is a serious Catholic) and sided with Anthony Mercer, causing an estrangement. According to one good source, a P.I. was hired to follow Scherer-Mercer around at one point. Sometime in 2005, Scherer-Mercer returned to Anthony Mercer, and they had a baby girl together. The split with Grady was said to be amicable, and the Scherer family was all back together again.

So did that relationship have any effect on Satz's office when it prosecuted Grady for sexually assaulting female arrestees? Did Grady's previous relationship with one of Satz's favorite prosecutors help him walk with only two misdemeanors and no jail time? That's an answer that may never be known, but I don't believe anything sinister is going on here and that any effect would be tangential. Scherer-Mercer was no longer dating Grady, and there's no indication that Bill Scherer, who certainly has sway at the State Attorney's Office and throughout the courthouse, had any reason to try to help the guy. Satz, it must be said, has never been one to crack down on cops.

It's hard not to feel some sympathy for Scherer-Mercer, who has had a terrible couple of weeks. Not only did she have Grady's prosecution to worry about but her husband was arrested on May 28 for drug dealing. Anthony Mercer was caught allegedly holding an ounce of cocaine, a pound of pot, and some prescription pills. Scherer-Mercer is now divorcing Mercer. The State Attorney's Office, because of Mercer's marital tie with the assistant state attorney, has asked the governor for a prosecutor from outside the area to handle the case.


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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