So Florida Bar President Jesse Diner says in the Daily Business Review (thanks, Christy) that the Bar "can be preemptive" when it comes to investigating lawyers but is "not in the position of just going out willy-nilly and auditing people."I bet not, especially since Diner's sister-in-law was getting tens of thousands in campaign contributions from Rothstein and his law firm.
You see, Diner's wife is lawyer Adele Stone, and Adele Stone is the sister of state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, a Republican running for the Senate. Bogdanoff has been the recipient of big money from Scott Rothstein, who considered her a close friend. He was probably her biggest monetary supporter through the years.
In June, Rothstein held a fundraiser at his Isla Bahia home for Bogdanoff that raised her something on the order of $15,000. Over the years, Bogdanoff has received tens of thousands from Rothstein and the RRA firm. Bogdanoff, by the way, has worked at Diner's firm, Atkinson Diner Stone Mankuta & Ploucha (and yes, the "Stone" would be Adele).
Diner says he didn't attend that fundraiser but says he did attend Bogdanoff's victory party last November at Bova Prime. He said that he didn't, however, speak with Rothstein that night and that he's met Rothstein only twice in
his life. One of those times was at a recent fundraiser for Jeff Atwater held at the since defunct Jackson's Steakhouse. He says he didn't contribute.
"Someone introduced me, and we talked," he said. "A lot of people contribute money to my sister-in-law and I don't know them... The Florida Bar will investigate everything related to this case."
You can click here to see a photo of Diner being sworn in with Stone in the background. In his acceptance speech, he thanked Bogdanoff personally, along with Sen. Ken Pruitt and, yes, Gov. Charlie Crist himself for their great work. I gagged a little upon reading that.
Nothing against Diner personally -- he seems like just another cog in the machine -- but I do despise the Florida Bar (where, of course, Rothstein himself sat, in the height of absurdity, on the grievance committee).
Broward is truly the biggest small town in America.
-- A birdie told me that the FBI paid a visit to the Broward Sheriff's Office today, requesting information on the Santucci incident and Lt. David Benjamin. What's that I hear? Is that a... train. Clickety clack (where are you, Karnack?)?
-- One of you asked about the West Boca Chamber of Commerce breakfast featuring new FBI chief John V. Gilles. I called political consultant and radio man Barry Epstein to see how that went, and he said Gilles did a fine job. The problem is he can't talk about ongoing investigations, so there was little to no dope on the Rothstein investigation. Epstein said he asked, "Are you going to go after the people who wrote checks to these political candidates knowing it was illegal to do so and getting reimbursed in the form of a bonus?"
He said Gilles answered: "No, I'm going to go after the bosses who told them to write the check."
But the presentation actually made Reuters, which highlighted the fact that Gilles said that corruption was threating the "fabric" of America. No shit. Here's the story.