Knucklehead Award Friday Part Fifteen
Our fifteenth winner is Florida Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough. He gets the award for the following.
One minute, state Sen. Gary Siplin was in jail Wednesday night, held without bail on a probation violation. The next, the charges were withdrawn against the Orlando legislator, and he was a free man.Why would anyone NOT believe politics was involved in Siplin's release? It's either that or favoritism. Siplin broke the rules of his probation. If you or I did the same our ass would be in jail still. The judge was even stunned by the request.
"We'll talk about it at the proper time," Siplin said as he left the Orange County Jail about 9:10?p.m. "Thank you, Jesus. Praise the Lord. And glory be to God. My two kids in Palm Beach County are waiting on me for Thanksgiving."
The bottom line: He thought he was allowed to go to Tallahassee on official business. His probation officer said he didn't get permission first.
The bizarre series of events outraged some leaders of Orlando's black community. It all began at 4:45 p.m. when the Democratic senator was taken into custody for traveling to Tallahassee on official business this week without his probation officer's approval. It culminated about 4-1/2 hours later when he emerged from custody after Chief Judge Belvin Perry traveled to the jail and ordered his release.
In an extraordinary twist, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough asked Orange Circuit Judge Julie O'Kane to withdraw an arrest warrant, which he said was filed in error.
The move to release Siplin stunned O'Kane, who had issued the arrest warrant after a probation officer wrote that Siplin violated two supervision guidelines: leaving the county without permission to go to Tallahassee and failing to comply with probation instructions by giving advance notice and details of travel.
"The Department of Corrections asked that the warrant be dismissed," said Perry, who added that he spoke to O'Kane and McDonough on Wednesday night. "They said it was made in error."
Perry said he was told by McDonough that there was a misinterpretation of the probation-travel rules by two employees of the law firm representing Siplin and that a travel request may have been in the works.
Perry said Siplin's release was not a political deal and that he went to the jail because O'Kane was unavailable, he lives closer and was better-known to jail officials than O'Kane.
Just one more example of the broken and corrupt legal system here in Florida. Florida Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough is today's fifteenth Knucklehead of the day.
Labels: Knucklehead of the Day