Friday, December 4, 2009

Florida Supremes Now Approve Corruption Grand Jury

Posted: 02 Dec 2009 07:50 PM PST by EstateOfDenial.Com

Fla. Supreme Court approves grand jury to investigate corruption
Bill Cotterell
December 2, 2009
The News-Press
TALLAHASSEE — The third try did the trick for Gov. Charlie Crist today, as the Florida Supreme Court ordered creation of a statewide grand jury to investigate public corruption in South Florida.

The high court had turned down the governor’s request just Monday. Crist had initially petitioned the court to empanel a multi-jurisdiction grand jury to look into criminal activities statewide, and then filed an amended petition, but was unsuccessful.

So he filed another amended petition, giving more detail of the types of crimes he wanted the grand jury to investigate — everything from bribery and drug dealing to carjacking and fraud –while certifying that “these crimes are of a multi-circuit nature,” crossing the lines of counties and judicial circuits.

This time, the seven justices agreed, directing Circuit Judge Victor Tobin to preside over a 12-month grand jury term with jurors drawn from four circuits.

Crist cheered the court’s decision, saying it is vital that the work of state attorneys in separate circuits be reinforced by the statewide panel. Although the grand jury has unlimited jurisdiction, its work is expected to focus on Southeast Florida, where Crist has suspended many indicted public officials in nearly three years as governor.

Attorney General Bill McCollum also said he’s encouraged by authorization of the probe.

“Public officials should be held accountable for any illegal and dishonorable actions that violate the public’s trust,” said McCollum. “They should adhere to a higher standard, not make a mockery of the offices with which they were entrusted.”

No comments: