MEET FLORIDA'S MOST CORRUPT JUDGE
Tea Party Miami opposes corruption in government. Sadly, we believe there is rank corruption in all three branches of government including the judiciary. We have a right to expect our court system to be fair and objective and that judges be held accountable.
South Florida judges are required to be elected "by the people" so they represent the interests of the constituents of their community. One Florida Judge has been exploiting a loophole in the law that has allowed him to preside in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county courtrooms for many years, without being elected and while still running his own law firm on the side, and engaging in conflicting outside business activities that generate huge fees for himself and his associates. TEA Party Miami's multi-part series on judicial corruption exposes the dubious dealings of "Judge" Herb Stettin. Who's judging our judges?
For over ten years, South Florida Judge Herbert Stettin has been raking in millions from lucrative court mandated, arbitration and trustee cases while also serving as a judge in those same localities. These cases have been referred to him by his fellow judges, in apparent violation of state law that attempts to prevent judges from engaging in certain business activities while also serving on the bench. In many cases Stettin is actually sharing legal fees with some of the same lawyers who are appearing before him as a Judge.
"Retired" Judge Herbert Stettin was originally elected to the 11th Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County in 1976. He served for only three years of his 4-year judgeship before quitting to resume private practice. His early departure qualified him as a "retired" judge, allowing him to continue to receive benefits and appointments that are usually given to judges that have reached their retirement years, and who do not have outside conflicting business interests. The policy allows attorneys to work as a part-time, temporary judge, for one year, without the requirement of being elected.
Herb Stettin has not been elected as a judge since 1976 but he has been appointed to "temporary" one-year terms as a judge every year since 1999, thereby circumventing the law requiring judges to be elected by their county constituents. While elected judges are prohibited from practicing law on the side, "temporary" judges have no such prohibition.
Herb Stettin's private trustee/arbitration company (Herbert Stettin, P.A.) liquidates large corporations, as directed by the Courts. He collects large fees for overseeing these cases, and he has the authority to direct business to partner law firms or other vendors whom he might have a personal or financial relationship. Those fees come from the victims' fund and reduce the payout to the deserving victims who have suffered a loss.
Mr. Stettin is in the unique position of socializing and working side-by-side with the same judges that have the ability to assign lucrative trustee cases to him – and they do.
Judge Stettin has recently struck gold. His private company, Herbert Stettin, P.A., has been awarded the contract to provide trustee services for the Scott Rothstein, RRA ponzi scheme victims. Stettin was actually appointed over the objection of the United States Trustee division of the Department of Justice; http://cases.bms11.com/Documents/FL76/09-34791/ECF_DOC_8_5054118.pdf. His duties are to collect and then disperse any remaining assets to the investors who lost their savings - but it appears as if he wants to line his own pockets and the pockets of his fellow lawyers instead of fulfilling his fiduciary duties to the victims. Judge Raymond Ray appointed Stettin. TPM will expose the special relationship between Judge Ray and Herb Stettin later in this series.
Ponzi scheme victims and their attorneys have recently expressed their outrage over the amount of money Judge Stettin is paying himself and his affiliates. Of the $45 million that has been recovered so far, over $18 million of it has been spent on fees for Herb Stettin and Stettin directed attorney fees and other expenses - over 40% of all money collected for the victims has already been spent. The Fed's have also expressed their concern over the way Judge Stettin is spending through the victims' money, but they are powerless against the local courts and Stettin's influence in South Florida. The justice system was set up to prevent these types of abuses and conflicts of interest. Is Herbert Stettin above the law?
COMING NEXT - HOW JUDGE STETTIN PERJURED HIMSELF ON HIS SWORN STATE DISCLOSURE FORMS...
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