What's with Judges Cooke and Huck recusing themselves from the Mutual Benefits prosecution?
On top of that, there were these additional staffing issues:
Last week, federal prosecutors unsealed an additional 30-page indictment charging Mutual Benefits’ founders and legal advisers with conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
The case was randomly assigned to U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke. However, Cooke issued an order Tuesday saying she was stepping aside.
U.S. District Judge Paul Huck, who then received the case, recused himself Thursday. Huck’s order, without giving specifics, cited “a conflict,” though he had presided over earlier criminal matters related to Mutual Benefits.
Steven Larimore, chief administrator for the federal court in South Florida, transferred the case Thursday afternoon to a third jurist, U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan.
The back-to-back judicial recusals, unparalleled in recent memory, followed an unusual decision by the two highest-ranking lawyers in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office to have no further involvement in matters related to Mutual Benefits.Luckily, by some miracle, Kendall Coffey was available and provided the following insight:
Question -- is there some contractual obligation to include a Kendall Coffey quote in any story ever written about our federal courts or the U.S. Attorney's Office?
Former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey said the officials might be stepping aside to avoid “even the appearance of a conflict” in the case.
“Public officers have every right to stand back when conflict concerns arise,” Coffey said.
Wait, hold on -- I have a call coming in.
SFL: "Hello? Why yes Kendall, that's funny I was just about to post a story....ok, that's weird, you already knew that?
Alright, go ahead, what's the answer -- do you really have to be quoted in everything?"
KC: "Yes, I do."
SFL: "Thought so. Great, thanks. Talk to you soon, I'm sure."
KC: "Yes, you will."