Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Judge Pando Flap -- Does Case Hold Water?

The Herald led its Saturday (least read?) edition with a front-pager on Judge Pando.

In addition to the letter she wrote on behalf of a pain clinic that regularly appears before her, there are allegations regarding a Ponzi schemer trying to set up a meeting so she would put in a good word for him before his Broward sentencing judge:
Pando’s name surfaced repeatedly in a series of phone calls tape-recorded at the Broward County Jail between racketeer Arturo Godinez and his wife. A Broward jury found Godinez guilty of fraud and conspiracy on Oct. 31 in a case involving the sale of sometimes bogus cancer and AIDS drugs to unsuspecting pharmacies and consumers. The next day, Godinez held the first of several conversations about how to recruit influential leaders to advocate for his release. Pando was one of them.
Let's put the letter issue aside for a moment and focus on these allegations.

From what I can tell, Judge Pando did not agree to meet with Godinez, but apparently was considering it, according to his wife:
Judith Godinez told her husband in one recorded conversation that a meeting had been scheduled between Pando, Pando’s father, Esteban Bencomo — who is referred to throughout the conversations by his nickname, “Papito” — and someone they call only “El Leader.”

In one conversation, Judith Godinez told her husband that Pando was willing to meet with representatives of the couple — but wanted to control who was present. “She’s not going to be comfortable talking in front of me, because I wanted to be present,” Judith Godinez told her husband, though the “me” she was referring to may also have been a family friend named Martica. Later, we’ll see what she says, how she can help.” 
That's it?

Maybe I'm jaded, but this seems pretty thin to me.

What am I missing here?

As regards the letter,  I don't think she is helped by this statement by the pain clinic's president:
Through a lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Atlee Wampler, Florida Wellness’ president, Cereceda, issued a short statement praising Pando: “I have the highest respect for Judge Pando,” he said. “I am a regular contributor to her election campaigns. I believe she has an excellent judicial temperament. I strongly support Judge Pando’s re-election.”
I bet he does.
d more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/16/2649377_p3/dade-judge-tangled-up-in-probe.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/16/2649377/dade-judge-tangled-up-in-probe.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

What say you?

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/16/2649377/dade-judge-tangled-up-in-probe.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy


swlip said...

I had the same reaction. Sensational allegations. But the evidence seemed pretty thin.

Anonymous said...

The pain clinic allegations are troubling.

Anonymous said...

She is known by people to be a major sleazeball when it comes to catering to medical clinics and other PIP benefit providers. She's in their pocket, and her rulings are sometimes downright obvious in that respect.

Anonymous said...

Pando, Pando Pando Pando. Say it really fast, it just rolls off the tongue. Ok I am done Pandoering.

Anonymous said...

Is a judge supposed to meet with a defendant like that?

Rumpole said...

No. It was a non story and did not merit front page top of the fold in the Sunday Herald. Every now and then the Herald decides to flex its muscles and while they can no longer put someone on the bench, they can take someone off the bench. That's what this is.

Anonymous said...

pando will get reprimanded, that is all though

Anonymous said...

state court is a sewer

South Florida Lawyers said...

Was it Sunday? With a three day weekend I lose count.

Anonymous said...

Now the Herald reporters are not being paid by United Automobile Insurance Company and the other companies pushing to get rid of PIP would they?

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