My question involves criminal and civil law for the state of Florida.
It is almost four years since I was arrested on July 27, 2004. To this day I am unable to answer, why was I arrested on 10 counts of elderly neglect by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit?
“The Court is required by law to provide the defendant the right to a fair trial”. Six out of the six rights have been denied to me, and I do not believe it is possible to have a fair trial.
1. A competent, neutral and detached judge. Can a Judge tell a defendant they have to pay for the prosecutors pre-paid vacation if they want a speedy trial? Can a judge deny your right to a speedy trial four times over a 16 month period? Does this fall into the category of a neutral or detached Judge?
2. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a criminal defendant a speedy trial. I requested a speedy trial on four occasions over a 16 month period from October 2004 to February 15, 2006. Each time the Judge denied my right or my court appointed attorney threatened to withdraw. On 02/15/2006, (16 months after my arrest, I again requested a speedy trial and in addition presented a well researched Motion to Dismiss due to lack of probable cause. Enclosed was a letter I received on July 1, 2005, from the Florida Department of Health. The letter states there was no probable cause and they were dropping the investigation and directed the case be dismissed. That was almost 3 years ago.
I asked, if my motion was not accepted, could someone explain the probable cause behind my arrest. I never got an answer. The Prosecutor, My court-appointed lawyer and the Judge met briefly and I was sent to visit two psychologists to be evaluated for competency.
I was surprised I was declared incompetent. I learned a short time after - if one is incompetent they lose their right to a speedy trial. Then again, I still did not know the answer to why I was arrested on 10 counts of elderly neglect by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit?
3. The absence of Prosecutorial Misconduct. A tape was made on July 30, 2004 between myself and the lead investigator of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. I believed the tape would exonerate me. I requested the tape 9 times, finally on December 12, 2006, a new Judge issued an “order to provide the Defense Counsel a full copy of the tape recorded conversation”.
In February 2007, I finally received the written transcript and the audio tape. When the tape was compared to the written transcript, it had almost 30 minutes of tape missing and 19 transcribed errors found. The written transcript from Page 39 through Page 63 had no corresponding audio tape, 24 pages of audio tape was missing. Is this considered Prosecutorial Misconduct? Did the prosecutor fail to disclose exculpatory evidence in a timely manner as stated in Florida RULE 3.8 (d)? It took a judge’s order and two years and five months for the tape to be turned over.
Did the prosecutor destroy and tamper with evidence? Did she violate Florida RULE 4-3.4(a) Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel. A lawyer shall not: (a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or otherwise unlawfully alter, destroy, or conceal a document or other material that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is relevant to a pending or a reasonably foreseeable proceeding; nor counsel or assist another person to do any such act.
4. The Fourth Amendment stipulates that “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” What is the probable cause used to show I had committed a crime? What are the facts and circumstances? I have requested the probable cause at least seven times. I never received a response from anyone.
The first thing I noticed when I saw the probable cause affidavit was no one verified the information about me. I am not mentioned in any of the individual cases. The lead investigator of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit did not make any attempt to contact me or question me. There were four defendants. I saw that two of the defendants were interviewed, and an attempt to contact a third defendant was made, but “failed to return calls”. No where does it say an attempt was made to contact me. I would have been cooperative, but no one tried to contact me. Didn’t anyone wonder where I was? Why didn’t they take the time to verify the information? In addition, the Florida Department of Health letter states there was no probable cause and directed the case be dismissed, almost 3 years ago.
While researching the Internet in December 2007, I came across a letter from the federal Department of Health and Human Services to Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist dated January 29, 2003. The letter states that the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is cited for not providing complete and accurate case information, employing individuals who did not meet established minimum qualifications and nine other deficiencies. The federal government requires action be taken within 12 months to meet recertification criteria. The state of Florida was at “high risk” of losing millions of dollars of federal funding for Medicaid and had been placed on probation for at least a year.
This letter corresponds to the period the nursing home was under investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). It is apparent the MFCU was not in compliance with providing complete and accurate case information. That was one of the first things I noticed when I saw the Probable Cause Affidavit over three years ago. Why did they not verify the information?
The letter can be found at http://www.myflorida.com/audgen/page...s/2004-033.htm.
As I researched further, I discovered Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist put a task force in place at the end of July, 2003. The investigation of the nursing home was over by them.
5. The Right to Counsel. A criminal defendant's right to an attorney is found in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
My court appointed attorney has not responded to the lack of probable cause, lack of evidence, and/or prosecutorial misconduct. His response to me is I am making too much out of it. Am I? Or have I already been denied the right to a fair hearing and just trial”.
6. The Presumption of Innocence. John Grisham, a retired attorney said there is no “lingering doubt that in this country the presumption of innocence is dead.” Once I was arrested, I felt the system treating me as if I was guilty. The worst part was not being able to get a job and support my son. For over thirty years, I worked in my profession with a commitment to humanity and now I could not find a job for minimum wage.
I am 52 years old and a single mother of a 19 year old disabled son with Cerebral Palsy. I am also an educated women, with a doctorate degree in Nutrition Education and a minor in Statistics and Counseling. My son's father left when he was 2 years old and recently passed away. My son has been moving about in a power wheelchair since he was 3 years old.
I have never been arrested, until July 27, 2004 at the age of 49. The only other time I was in jail is when I volunteered to teach nutrition to the female in-mates.
I have devoted my life to my family, community, and country. I have always taken pride in my work and have been known for my integrity, compassion and charity. I spent over 27 years in my County volunteering hours helping the elderly, disabled and individuals and families effected by HIV/AIDS. Since the age of 12, I have helped others.
Nothing came easy. I worked hard to accomplish my goals. When obstacles were thrown in my path, I saw them as challenges to learn from.
The saddest part of this experience is learning how easy someone can turn an act of kindness into something suspicious or criminal. It’s sad that people see the worse in others.
I hope you can recommend an avenue I can pursue in obtaining a fair hearing and bringing to light the illegal conduct demonstrated by the following people.
The Judge. Violated Cannon Law 2.
A Judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge's activities. Denied my right to a speedy trial 4 times in 16 months.
Former State Prosecutor.
a. Rule 3.8 (a) Special Responsibilities Of A Prosecutor. Refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause. What was the probable cause utilized to show I had committed a crime?
b. Florida RULE 3.8 Special Responsibilities Of A Prosecutor. (d) Make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense;
c. Florida RULE 4-3.4 Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel. A lawyer shall not: (a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or otherwise unlawfully alter, destroy, or conceal a document or other material that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is relevant to a pending or a reasonably foreseeable proceeding; nor counsel or assist another person to do any such act
d. Rule 8.4 Misconduct (c). Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
a. Did not verify information obtained during investigation. Did not make an attempt to interview me or even wonder where I was. Did not show probable cause in sworn affidavit. Swore information on the Probable Cause Document relating to finances did not coincide with the actual financial records (verified on tape). Investigator admits she was unaware of the Medicaid Reconciliation. Did not insure due process or due diligence.
My court appointed Attorney.
a. 4-1 CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP; RULE 4-1.3 DILIGENCE. A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client. A client's interests often can be adversely affected by the passage of time or the change of conditions.... However, unreasonable delay can cause a client needless anxiety and undermine confidence in the lawyer.
b. Rule 8.4 Misconduct (c). Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
Channel XX News, Reporter.
a. Reporter did not test the accuracy of information from other sources and did not exercise care to avoid inadvertent errors, slander, and defamation. Can you imagine the devastation of being accused of a crime you did not commit and even worse having it broadcast on television? What responsibility does a journalist have to follow-up on a statement before it airs?
Thank you for your time an attention. I need help. I am on disability, but would be willing to work for legal services.
With warm regards