Wednesday, December 12, 2012


We left off last Thursday discussing the possibility of a conflict existing between the State Attorney's office in the prosecution of a crime committed where the victim is actually a friend or relative of the state attorney.  If such an instance did occur, do you think it's possible for the victim to get a fair shake?  From our last post discussing the matter...
Indulge me for a moment, say that "friend" did make a call to Ms. Rundle and told her about the alleged wrong that had been done to them, would it be possible for Ms. Rundle to get personally involved in the case, perhaps maybe even taking the rookie line prosecutor that was handling the case off and reassigning a veteran prosecutor to make sure the case went down the way she wanted? 
Imagine for a moment if this very scenario did occur, can you imagine the tremendous amount of pressure that would be on the prosecutor to make sure he achieved a conviction against the alleged victims that supposedly committed a crime against the state attorneys friend or family member?  The possibility of failing to convict would leave me scared shitless!

So what's the point of all this talk of conflicts and such?  Is this a purely hypothetical situation?  I can't say for sure as I haven't been able to confirm but what I have been told by several different sources that are very, very close to City of South Miami Police Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro is that he is very, very close to our state attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  In fact, I'm told that the chief has told anyone that would listen that he was at Mr. Rundle's father's bedside when he passed away.  Can you get closer than that?

Now, if we accept the presumption that the chief and our state attorney are extremely close friends, perhaps as close as you can get without being related by blood, does it seem fair for her office to prosecute a crime that was allegedly committed against the chief or his family?  To me it seems like there's an obvious conflict of interest.  Somehow it seems to me that the prosecutors role might be compromised in this instance, what's that old saying about a prosecutors job?  Something about the "search for truth" rather than achieving a conviction no matter what, somehow with an obvious conflict like this one it seems like that "search for truth" may be second to "achieving a conviction no matter what".  While I'm not suggesting that would be the case with our state attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, it could certainly be a possibility.

With that possibility of a conflict of interest in mind, let's take a look at the Airways Auto Tag case for a moment.  For those of you who've forgotten about the case, it's where the City of South Miami's police chief's wife alleges that three tellers who worked for her stole tens of thousands of dollars while working at her tag agency.  Of course, the case is being prosecuted by our local state attorneys office, the same state attorney that the police chief says that he has a very close if not almost familial relationship with.  Am I the only one that thinks there's a possible conflict of interest here by Ms. Rundle's office prosecuting this case?  If nothing else, in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, shouldn't Ms. Rundle's office recuse themselves from prosecuting this case?  

I know if I was a defense attorney representing these tellers, that would have been my first move!


  1. Doral Police Chief Fired (from 12/12/12 Miami Herald):

    "The city of Doral lost a high-profile city official for the second time in as many weeks on Tuesday.

    Just days after the unexpected departure of the city manager, temporary replacement Merrett Stierheim announced he was firing the city’s police chief.

    Stierheim said he has spent the last few days reviewing administrative files — including a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report detailing an investigation into Chief Ricardo “Ricky” Gomez and possible bid-rigging and misuse of funds.

    Gomez was cleared of wrongdoing in that case by the State Attorney’s Office, but Stierheim said he was dismayed by what he described as a cliquish, insular culture when reviewing the files."

    Read more here:

  2. Recuse herself?? Let me take you back a touch.. Did Ms. Rundle recuse herself voluntarily when the Absentee Ballot scandall occured? The answer is NO!!! It become public information that her consultant and her Consultants employee was in the company of the same people involved in the Ballot scams. Letters were even written to the Governor asking him to remove her from the case, but of course he did not since the Governor hired the same ballot harvesters.. Now..... After reading this, do you really think she is going to voluntarily recuse herself from this tag agency scam??? I think not...