Daily Business Review Law Editor Harris Meyer, a former NTer, goes off on judges and corruption in Broward County and comes up with one reason why it's been able to flourish so long:
Why has all this gone unchallenged for so long? Reporters who cover Broward quickly discover one answer — it’s extremely difficult to get reputable, knowledgeable people, particularly lawyers, to go on the record criticizing anyone in power, no matter how egregious the abuse. It’s much more difficult than in Miami-Dade County.
Privately, many lawyers long have raised questions about the conduct of Broward judges. And many judges privately have complained about Chief Judge Ross. But the lawyers kept contributing to the judges’ election campaigns, and refused to run against incumbents or support challengers. Few had the guts to take their criticisms public — even during the recent marathon of bad judicial behavior.
What are they so afraid of? This isn’t China or Saudi Arabia, where political critics are tortured and killed. No, they’re afraid that if they speak out, they’ll lose clients, referrals, contracts, business opportunities, desirable assignments, or campaign contributions.
That’s why attorney Lawrence “Chris” Roberts says he didn’t rat out Judge Seidlin four years ago when the judge allegedly pressed him to buy his wife a $1,000 Louis Vuitton purse. Roberts was regularly getting lucrative special public defender assignments from Seidlin, so he gave. No electric shocks to the genitals needed to keep Roberts from reporting Seidlin’s alleged abuses.