So it looks like the investigation is on, according to Wanda DeMarzo's report in the Miami Herald. Crist's office is going to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Judge Larry Seidlin, based on the story broken here reporting his taking of gifts from lawyer Lawrence "Chris" Roberts and an elderly woman in his condo building, Barbara Kasler. Broward assistant state attorney Chuck Morton also requested an investigation into Judge Zack for loaning money from Roberts (here's Morton's letter).
If there's going to be an investigation into Seidlin, all I can hope is that it is thorough. They need to go through all the judge's special public defender appointments and question every attorney, under oath, on the list. I know there are similar stories out there floating around about Seidlin, stories that I can't tell for confidentiality reasons. They also need to find the Polo shirt case and interview the DUI defendant, who was allegedly there when Roberts made the buy. A forensic accountant needs to uncover every dime Seidlin and his family received from Kasler. A courthouse source, who says they got the information from someone very close to Seidlin, puts the number at $500,000. That may or may not be true, but between the land, bargain condo sale, cash gifts, and money for Seidlin's daughter's Pine Crest education, it looks like it's in the six figures. Was it reported properly on tax forms and financial disclosures? That's a key question.
After the jump: The Schizo-Sentinel Wants Notter To Be More Rich (COMING SOON)
So the Sun-Sentinel editorialists this morning use their increasingly precious ink to ... angle for more money for Broward County schools superintendent/puppet Jim Notter. It's not only a vile little piece of writing, but also a sign of schizophrenia at the newspaper. They don't bother to mention the sums and perks of the deal already offered to the Corvette-driving, lobbyist-loving Notter. Here's what the Sentinel's Akilah Johnson reported on June 27:
"The deal informally agreed on by the board: a three-year contract with the option for a one-year extension; up to $275,000 in annual salary; and up to $50,000 annually in a retirement account. Notter would also get $500 a month for expenses, an $800-per-month car allowance and his house wired for the Internet."
Most of the Sentinel's readers would be happy to earn a tenth of that, so it's a good thing the editorialist didn't mention it. Might have made the travesty even worse. But there's more. Sentinel school board reporter Jean-Paul Renaud did an outstanding job digging up the fact that Notter accepted a free trip to Cape Cod (complete with whale-watching tour) from a consultant working for the school board in 2004. The article, which basically showed Notter violated the law and was published the same day as Johnson's article, should have prompted the man's resignation -- do we really want a guy with such loose ethical standards to run the school board? Hell no.
The editorialists even had a go at it, saying an investigation should commence. Now the same people are saying he should get a more obscene amount of money. And they wonder why the public thinks the Sentinel has, by and large, become a joke?