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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Subterfuge and Recusal

The Warren Newell scandal continues to evolve.

WEST PALM BEACH — A third respected local lawyer has been implicated in the corruption scandal cloaking Palm Beach County government, this one for allegedly helping former Commissioner Warren Newell conceal his profit from a real estate flip.

Garry Glickman, a partner in the Glickman, Witters, Marrell & Jamieson firm in West Palm Beach, was the closing agent for the land sale, according to court papers charging Newell with conspiracy. When agents went hunting for Newell's proceeds from the deal, they found more than $60,000 stashed in the law firm's escrow account under the name of a company owned by Newell's best friend. An additional $29,000 had been dispersed to Glickman's partner, Curtis Lee Witters, as partial payment for handling Newell's divorce, the paperwork said.


Glickman, a civil law practitioner, was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1974 and sits on the board of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, a nonprofit agency that assists the needy.


Bertisch noted that Glickman's wife died last year after an extended, debilitating illness.
That is very nice and very sad. If Glickman did what is outlined in the Palm Beach Post article and found guilty, he should both go to jail and be disbarred.

It was during her convalescence that Glickman handled one of three real estate deals that netted Newell more than $500,000 - and got him into trouble with the law. Newell, who resigned last month, has been charged with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and has agreed to plead guilty.

Upon conviction, he faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of $150,000 - including the $60,000 found in the escrow account of Glickman's law firm at Colonial bank.

In April 2004, Newell and partners Donill Kenny and Robert Tome acquired an option on 6.75 acres in Newell's commission district on the western outskirts of Lake Worth. The land, after getting county commission approvals needed to enhance the property's value, was sold in October 2006 to a hospital developer for $4.4 million, more than twice what Newell's partners paid for it.

In February 2005, Newell voted twice on matters that sweetened the deal without disclosing his interest. He attempted to further hide his stake by having Glickman draw up papers showing he had pulled out of the deal days before the votes. It was all a "subterfuge," prosecutors alleged.

Newell, according to prosecutors, continued to work the deal, despite his resignation from JPJ Development & Design, the company formed to acquire the property. Newell, prosecutors said, demanded a $150,000 share of the profits, but later settled for $100,000.

To hide the money, Newell sought the help of Dan Shalloway, his longtime friend and partner in SFRN, an engineering and surveying firm.

Newell, Shalloway, Kenney and Tome agreed that JPJ would be billed $100,000 for engineering services never performed, an invoice to be paid at the real estate closing, according to prosecutors.

At the closing, $100,000 was deposited into the escrow account and held in the name of Shalloway Engineers, a firm owned solely by Shalloway.
These corrupt politicians and those who help them need to be hunted down like animals and made examples of. The use of public office for self enrichment has to put to an end in this county.

There is also this news involving the Federal judge who will sentence former Commissioner Warren Newell.

WEST PALM BEACH — The judge assigned to sentence Warren Newell on a corruption charge says the former Palm Beach County commissioner may have helped him win his nomination to the federal bench.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, nominated by President Bush in 2001, advised attorneys of the possible connection in a "Notice to the Parties" filed Friday in federal court.

"As part of the process of attempting to be selected for the position, the undersigned sought the support of individuals whom it was believed could assist in recommending to the president and his staff that the undersigned be nominated," Marra wrote. "During this process, the undersigned was introduced by a former law partner to an engineer with defendant Warren Newell's engineering firm, Ms. Lisa A. Tropepe. It was my understanding that Ms. Tropepe took steps to have defendant Newell take some action, the specifics of which I am not aware, to support my nomination."

Marra, who added he has never met Newell, didn't offer to recuse himself, leaving it to the parties in the case to make a request if they wished. Defense attorney Michael Salnick and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kastrenakes declined comment.
Marra should recuse himself from the case. For if any sentence but the maximum is handed down, it will look like the corruption in Palm Beach County is not just in politics but the judiciary also.

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