Columns

Did Charlie Crist Sell Judgeships?

By: Roger Stone | Posted: February 6, 2014 7:00 AM
Scott Rothstein and Charlie Crist

Scott Rothstein and Charlie Crist, 2009

In elaborate testimony Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein told a federal court how he had wielded influence over Charlie Crist while he was governor and used his role as a political appointee to a local judicial nominating commission to improperly ensure that Crist's personal favorites were nominated to the 4th District Court of Appeal and the Broward Circuit Court.

Rothstein said he favored candidates who "were going to favor our law firm."

"My job was to be the governor's voice on the commission," Rothstein told a jammed courtroom. Federal authorities produced Rothstein to testify in the trial of Christina Kitterman, a lawyer in his firm, Rothstein, Rosenfeld and Adler.

"He was a friend and a business associate," Rothstein said of Crist."I  was able to convince him to do a lot of things," said Rothstein, now serving a 50-year federal prison sentence for running a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme. (Because he supplied authorities with information about organized crime figures, according to court records, Rothstein is in a witness protection program within the federal prison system.)

Roger Stone

Roger Stone

Rothstein attended Crist's wedding and hosted the governor at his luxurious waterfront mansion. Crist attended Rothstein's wedding at the one-time Versace mansion in South Beach.

Incredibly, then Rothstein went on to describe the "quid pro quo" arrangement he had with Crist regarding local judicial appointments, wherein Rothstein said: "For certain [campaign] contributions, people were appointed to the bench" -- he was accusing Crist of a crime.

Moe Sohail, a local cigar and wine merchant and one-time intimate of Rothstein, has told investigators Rothstein bragged about buying the judgeships from Crist. Crist appointed Rothstein to the Judicial Nominating Commission which has the responsibility of delivering the names of up to six finalists to fill courthouse vacancies.

Roger J. Stone Jr., with offices in Florida and Washington, D.C., is a political consultant and lobbyist who specializes in opposition research for the Republican National Committee. He endorsed former Gov. Gary Johnson's presidential campaign in the 2012 Republican primary. This column is exclusive to Sunshine State News. 


Comments (49)

Rick
1:28PM APR 30TH 2014
P.S. UbamaCaide is a lost cause. We're not even allowing those policy holders access. Heck, we tell them that we cannot even see them on a cash pay basis (what they truly "purchased") because it is insurance fraud to do so.

Screw those people for being foolish enough to purchase high cost, high deductible worthless paper.

Survival of the fittest - may they fade away, victims of their own lack of intellect, character and integrity. They die for their general lack. Appropriate outcome for those people.
Rick
1:28PM APR 30TH 2014
P.S. UbamaCaide is a lost cause. We're not even allowing those policy holders access. Heck, we tell them that we cannot even see them on a cash pay basis (what they truly "purchased") because it is insurance fraud to do so.

Screw those people for being foolish enough to purchase high cost, high deductible worthless paper.

Survival of the fittest - may they fade away, victims of their own lack of intellect, character and integrity. They die for their general lack. Appropriate outcome for those people.
Rick
1:23PM APR 30TH 2014
Metro Charlie was What a shallow fraud. failure as Governor. He's a failure as a human.

Ergo, he's the consummate liberal.
Jodi Knapp
6:23AM APR 29TH 2014
Charlie did a good job as Gov, except for the huge expense for his quote unquote marriage and European adventure with all those people supposedly to generate tourism to florida. who was he trying to sell more, the state or the fact he married a woman?
D Monk
8:05PM APR 27TH 2014
ELECT NAN RICH
the only ethical candidate.
Ed
6:45AM APR 26TH 2014
It's nice to have all that money to spend (thanks to your friends in the corporations) and use it to destroy people. Ask the public employees how they feel about your candidate and why.
joan Riley
7:42PM APR 23RD 2014
Charlie Crist is a serious nobody. Look around and you will see how far superior Florida is in all aspects of governorship under Rick Scott. Very disappointing is Charlie Crist. He has no credibility at all.
MICHAEL
8:30PM APR 20TH 2014
Obamacare is working. Stop the nonsense. Rick Scott was a crook when he took the 5th 56 times in Court before buying the governorship with $70 million. Vote against Scott!!!!
Jodi Knapp
6:20AM APR 29TH 2014
I agree with Michael . and as far as Scott it, your Rebup-u-can party hailed him your hero for years. How he got into office was amazing to me..................but hopefully florida will remember how he skrewed over us the first 10 months of his "reign" and will take note at his
"only promises" of jobs and change and find someone new.
Vimal Singh
7:23PM APR 20TH 2014
How much money this guy got from Rick Scott. You know I vote in the election by looking who did what while not closer to election. Governor scott did very bad job until this year and now he is trying to fix everything because we have elections this year. Give me a break. I want insurance for my father who is 80 and does not work due to COPD. He does not make any money so cannot get much out of healthcare.gov but they throw him on state and state is giving me all kind of excuses for not giving him medicaid because they refuse to receive the federal money for state health benefits. The governor that just cares about his association with the party and not for his people, can go to he*#. We do not care any more. He took away the money from teachers and end of last year gave them 2000 dollars more a year. What need their votes now? Not going to happen. Now is the time to go back to his business and run more schemes to make more money to run next governor's election.
Alan Day
7:33PM APR 19TH 2014
whats odd to me is that people get upset at Christ for changing his mind and taking a stand. Many call that conviction, when people blindly follow a party's direction that's called being a mindless zombie. I find it sad for our Country that the State of Florida elected a new governor that was directly and in charge of a company who committed the largest defraudment of our government EVER. He can't even qualify for employment at McDonald's. After being forced to leave HCA he received an 800 million dollar separation package. So WOW screwed up is our country now!!
Louie
7:30PM APR 19TH 2014
People have short memories but I give you one example. We have Marco the brainless one Rubio because the moderate,liberal and progressive vote was split between Meeks and Crist. You split the vote again like this and you have the moron Scot again. Vote Crist
Joey
9:37PM APR 18TH 2014
this is crap why don't you report on the people who are going to die and the ones that have because of the criminal rick scott
Lacy Loar
7:31PM APR 18TH 2014
Still preferably to a governor who would deny the poor expanded Medicaid and who presided as CEO over the largest Medicare health care fraud in recent history. Pack it in Scott, you are toast!
Sherry
12:45PM APR 13TH 2014
Why was there never any questions when he was running on the Republican ticket
James Brennan
6:21PM APR 7TH 2014
I don't trust any of the candidates in the Republican/Democratic Parties. They all sell influence and use their offices for personal gain and to help their friends gain. They don't give a hoot about the voters. Throw all the bums out vote independent.
sandra
11:20AM APR 15TH 2014
your site is a bunch of obviously incorrect information. You are going to have to do a lot better, if your going to convince people. Crist is in without campaigning. Your candidate has compromised himself, here and in England and France (where the national press laughed at him on national television.
JOHNNIE GARTIN
7:35PM APR 1ST 2014
aLL POLITICAN Are crazy, why should tax payers have to paid for these dumb asses?
Dennis Michael Kuno, I
9:46AM MAR 15TH 2014
We all know about these groundoess accusations. Floridians still want to know what Scott was hiding when he pled the Fifth Amendment over 70 times, and what he has done with Federal Funds!
JOE KREPS
12:30AM APR 5TH 2014
Who is the bigger crook?
Paul Ayala
12:12PM MAR 14TH 2014
I'd trust ANYONE more than I would Rick Scott!
JOHNNIE GARTIN
7:37PM APR 1ST 2014
I FELL THE SAME WAY PAUL.
joan Riley
7:28PM MAR 13TH 2014
I think Charlie Christ is an opportunist, not a leader. I used to like him, not now..
B Holley
2:57PM MAR 11TH 2014
Charlie Crist is a FLIP-FLOPPING POS PRISSY GUY!! HE LIED TO FLORIDIANS LAST TIME AND STILL AN ENORMOUS LIAR! LITTLE WHIMPY TWO FACED HYPOCRIT "THUG"!!!!!
oppressions
11:41AM FEB 13TH 2014
This is nothing short of a slander piece. Not that i support Crist. But Rothstein is not exactly reliablable as he drags down as many as he can with himself. I guess it makes him feel less of a scum. Although Rothstein may have been on a local nominating commission and pandered to politicians like Crist for self-benefiting appointments, Crist would have had no control or even necessarily knowledge over the corrupt pandering of Rothstein to control judicial appointments, including soliciting campaign contributions as a price to play. Where's the papertrail to go with Stone's innuendo come slander?
JOE KREPS
12:34AM APR 5TH 2014
Indictments are being prepared for an October Surprise.
Paul De Young
8:24AM APR 3RD 2014
You have got to be a "Bleeding heart liberal," to 'defend' Any politician.
Don't you know that they ALL are corrupt and out for their own welfare?
the facts are
5:30PM FEB 8TH 2014
snafubar
It's Bush's fault, blah blah blah.
This story is about the criminal Crist. Stick with that. WELL THE FACTS ARE IS ABOUT the famliy that trained him. Don't you know Charlie Cirst come from St. Petersburg, Fl the home of Mel Sembler founder of Straight, Inc? In fact Charlie's father blames Sembler for Charlie having those limp wristed ways of his.

and;
Please
1:00PM FEB 7TH 2014
God was that boring. I wasted 5 minutes reading it thinking it might be something interesting and it clearly wasn't. Next time you think about "enlightening" people, please don't.

You freaking Bush trained people think you are so smart. It was the Bush machine that taught Obama to blame everything on his brother "Dubya."

People are stupid no doubt - but you at least have enough brains to type and spell. And, you don't have enough sense to research and find the proof that Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott was a Dallas Tx lawyer. Partners with Tom Hicks and George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers not to mention all the HCA/ Columbia Medicare fraud his buddie GW and cronies let him get away with.

Yep you Bush whackers are probably to dumb to know the entire truth about your esteemed messiah Bush family because they only educate you on a need to know basis. The rest of their sheeple don't have enough sense to walk and chew gum.
Paul De Young
8:48AM APR 3RD 2014
Yeah, your so smart that create you own words for everybody. "... The rest of their sheeple don't have enough sense to walk and chew gum."
Take your head out of your As- and look @ the state of this Country... your messiah obama has spent/put us deeper into DEBT in 8 years, than ALL the past presidents combined. doesn't that make you think? there are more people on welfare/government dole/food stamps then ever before. maybe you like to work to take care of all the "Free Loaders" I have NO Problem taking care of those that TRULY Need gov assistance-handicapped in one form or another, but not able bodies that are too lazy to work. it really is useless to talk to you liberals that are suppose to be so open minded, because you are not! you're only open minded, if it's your way. if someone disagrees with your way, you will do what ever to shut everyone else's rights down, to get your way. EVERYONE has the RIGHT to think/express/voice what ever they feel, as long as they are not hurting someone else. Texas looks better everyday...
Paul De Young
8:48AM APR 3RD 2014
Yeah, your so smart that create you own words for everybody. "... The rest of their sheeple don't have enough sense to walk and chew gum."
Take your head out of your As- and look @ the state of this Country... your messiah obama has spent/put us deeper into DEBT in 8 years, than ALL the past presidents combined. doesn't that make you think? there are more people on welfare/government dole/food stamps then ever before. maybe you like to work to take care of all the "Free Loaders" I have NO Problem taking care of those that TRULY Need gov assistance-handicapped in one form or another, but not able bodies that are too lazy to work. it really is useless to talk to you liberals that are suppose to be so open minded, because you are not! you're only open minded, if it's your way. if someone disagrees with your way, you will do what ever to shut everyone else's rights down, to get your way. EVERYONE has the RIGHT to think/express/voice what ever they feel, as long as they are not hurting someone else. Texas looks better everyday...
the facts are
11:39AM FEB 7TH 2014
Isn’t it interesting how politics makes such strange bedfellows? Dan Gelber wouldn’t have spit on Charlie Crist in 2007, 08 or 09 – and now he is defending his actions. Allegations that when Charlie Crist was Governor of Florida he sold judgeships. And Dan Gelber just like the Bush family every time someone tells the truth about them are always the first to deny their facts and assign a label to them. Case in point “The Family” written by Kitty Kelly is a documentary on the Bush Family Dynasty. They brought out all their angels from hell to halt, stop, suppress, but it got out there anyway.
As much control as “they” have of everything it is still impossible to disconnect the dots!
In the case of Scott Rothstein and Dan Gelber trying to assign him the title of “liar” the facts remain that Rothstein being whomever he is has apparently ratted out some of this mob connections which obviously simply be they way he was brought in to testify and the fact that he is in the federal witness protection program being held at a very secret location gives credence to his testimony.
In the early 1900’s Arthur Rothstein “the brain” was the undisputed kingpin of the Jewish mob in New York. Rothstein’s young protégé was one Mier Suchowjansky who became know to the world as Meyer Lansky. Follow Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and their connections to Santo Trafficante Sr. and then Santo Trafficante, Jr. born and raised in Tampa, Florida to Havana Cuba and their mob operations with connections to the Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista. By 1933 these mobsters were operating out of Miami.
Fast forward to the 1960’s Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista and threw the mob out of Cuba, even arrested and jailed for a while Santo Trafficante, Jr. before allowing him to return to Tampa, Florida. Fast forward to the 1980’s Santo Trafficante, Jr. reportedly financed one Miguel Recarey in his (IMC) International Medical Centers which led to at the time the largest Medicare fraud in US history. Who was associated with Jeb Bush.
In 1992, as his father, President George H.W. Bush, ran for reelection, Jeb Bush denied having reached out to HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler on Recarey's behalf, a denial he maintains through a spokeswoman to this day. Bush said that he only spoke to a lower-level HHS official to ask that Recarey be given a "fair hearing" with regard to his application to renew a waiver that allowed IMC to receive more than 50 percent of its revenue from Medicare. (The waiver had been granted as part of an HMO pilot project that was set to expire. The renewal was ultimately not granted.)
But now former Secretary Heckler herself, in an interview with HuffPost, has confirmed that Jeb Bush lobbied her, that she was in favor of renewing the waiver (although she left office before doing so) and that his input played a major role in her thinking.
She said she took his call, and took it seriously. "Jeb was one that I and friends of the Bushes always thought would be president," Heckler said.
snafubar
9:26AM FEB 8TH 2014
It's Bush's fault, blah blah blah.

This story is about the criminal Crist. Stick with that.
Please
1:00PM FEB 7TH 2014
God was that boring. I wasted 5 minutes reading it thinking it might be something interesting and it clearly wasn't. Next time you think about "enlightening" people, please don't.
the facts are
11:36AM FEB 7TH 2014
"He knew the people well," said Heckler, referring to the South Florida Cuban community. "He was involved, and I know that his compassion and my sense of conscience and his, I thought, matched, and therefore I was positive, acting upon this."
Heckler's statement backs up congressional testimony offered by two other HHS officials in 1987. If all three are to be believed, Bush has been lying for some 20 years. He did, in fact, directly lobby the secretary for the IMC waiver.
The same year that the HHS officials testified, Recarey, who regularly bragged of his connections to the Miami Cuban mafia, was indicted for defrauding Medicare, among other charges. He fled the country, first to Venezuela, then to Spain, where he fended off an extradition effort. It is alleged that he and IMC stole hundreds of millions of dollars overall. The IMC Medicare fraud is one of the largest in the program's history.

That is until Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott form Dallas, Tx Bush family oil and hospital lawyer partnered with Richard Rainwater in HCA/ Columbia to pull their Medicare fraud schemes which went un prosecuted. Rick Scott was also partners with Tom Hicks and George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers as well.

July 2002 - Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Raoul Cantero III Born in Spain to Cuban parents and brought to Miami at 9 months of age (former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista's grandson) to serve as a justice on the Florida Supreme Court. The objection to Cantero is not that he is Batista's grandson. That is irrelevant. Nor is it that he defended Orlando Bosch in court. Of course not. Everyone has the right to a defense attorney. That is one of the strengths of our system.
But Cantero did far more than act as defense attorney. Back in 1988 and 1989, he was an advocate and supporter of Orlando Bosch, appearing at meetings in his honor and indicating his enthusiastic support for Bosch in interviews on Miami radio. Bosch, he said, was "a patriot."
Do Floridians really want a justice on their Supreme Court who cannot distinguish an act of patriotism from an act of terrorism?
Of course, Cantero is not alone. It is not surprising that Bush appointed him, for the governor himself was, and still is, part of the Orlando Bosch claque. Along with a gaggle of South Florida city commissioners, state legislators and other community leaders, including U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and then Sen. Connie Mack, Jeb Bush lobbied for Bosch's release from INS custody. He even met with hunger-striking Bosch supporters. Acceding to this pressure, in 1989, the first President Bush freed Bosch and allowed him to live unrepentant in Miami.
Nor have Bosch's supporters ever recanted, disavowing their support for Bosch and repudiating his tactics. Not Ros-Lehtinen, not Jeb Bush, and most certainly not Raoul Cantero, the new Supreme Court justice. (resigned in 2008) One must assume, therefore, that they continue to support him.
In appointing Cantero Bush said “. I'd prefer that judges distinguish themselves by their adherence to the foundational principle of the separation of powers. I don't know of any Floridian or American who's consented to government by the judiciary.
wayne carroll
10:06AM FEB 8TH 2014
Other than being inaccurate, boring and off topic thefactsare comments are also stupid.
snafubar
9:23AM FEB 8TH 2014
This story is about the criminal Crist.

Poor attempt by you to deflect the focus.

Bush derangement syndrome.
the facts are
11:36AM FEB 7TH 2014
In other words according to Jeb Bush “judges like children should be seen but not heard!”
January 14, 2014 – Governor Rick Scott names Carlos Lopez-Cantera first Latino Lt. Governor of Florida-

Carlos Lopez-Cantera was born in Madrid, Spain to Cuban parents in 1973, but arrived in Florida in 1974. Sounds familiar! Is he related to Raoul Cantero III? What’s one letter in a Spanish name anyway? He was first elected to the Florida House in 2004 (supported by the 2004 Bush for president team!) and served as the Majority Whip, 2009-2010 and Majority Leader 2010-12. Afterward, he was elected Property Appraiser for Miami-Dade County. He is one of over 160 Hispanic Republicans in public office who are working diligently to keep government accountable and making sure our country continues to move in the right direction at the local, state and federal levels."
But the Teflon Bush machine and it’s cronies like Rick Scott (the poor little donut maker) can pull their schemes and nothing sticks. Everything that surfaces concerning their schemes comes from “disgruntled people” with an a to grind or some other excuse they pull from a litany of years of defending their actions.
The truth is Charlie Crist is a disgruntled former Bush machine member right along with the old Bush man Jim Greer who just got to big for his big britches the Bush machine has plenty on both of them. That’s a two way street, but Greer obviouls had to sell out to protect his family. It remains to be seen if John Morgan has enough clout to support Charlie Crist sanding up to Rick Scott and his Bush Machine. Everything was documented concerning the Crist – Rubio - Greer – Sansom and all the rest of those involved so their escapades could then be run through the shredder to insure it did happen.
jose
5:26PM FEB 6TH 2014
Tommie - What planet have you been on? The Bushes have been able to keep their crime family secrets from the lame stream media for a century.

Samuel Bush munitions WW 1 - Prescott Bush financed Hitler's WW2 build up. George HW Bush - Kuwait scheme 100 hour war and Iran-Contra - George W. Bush and his Oil War. Neil Bush IGNITE LEARNING Scam (taking advantage of GWB's No Child Left Behind Act)

And please don't tell us that Jeb Bush's push to privatize our public schools into for profit carter schools, some operated by his Muslim friends like Gary Grappo (appointed Ambassador to Onan by GW)

And Jeb Bush is a major promoter of COMMON CORE explain that one. He is a New World Order guru like his daddy and brother, plain and simple.

And the reason the media don't tackle a Bush is because with their Wall Street Bankster buddies they own 96% of the world media.

Charlie Cirsst is a piece of (s**t) alright but he was trained by Bush family friend and Ambassador Mel Sembler who was the founder of Straight, Inc. That's why Crist acts funny!
snafubar
9:25AM FEB 8TH 2014
More Bush derangement syndrome.

If the lamestream media had anything on the Bushes, they would be shouting it from the roof tops, unlike the zero coverage they are giving this criminal Crist .

Get a life.
Peter Gelezius
11:14AM FEB 6TH 2014
Checking out his most vocal backers,is there any doubt? Changing from republican to independent to democrat ought to tell you something about his principals or lack thereof
Tommie
10:40AM FEB 6TH 2014
And shockingly, you will not hear about this on your local news or in the statewide newspapers now that Crist is a Democrat.

If this was Jeb Bush being accused of this in a court deposition from a former close friend, associate and ally, it would be plastered on every news channel, every paper, editorials all across the state - COME CLEAN JEB!! JEB BUSH ACCUSED OF BRIBERY. BUSH ALLY COMES CLEAN ON JEB'S APPOINTMENTS. BUSH FRIEND TO COURT - I BRIBED JEB! over and over and over. But not with Crist.

A Miami Herald story on it today, just like the other couple of scattered stories on this brushed by this like it was nothing. Just a bump in the road. One paragraph. "Oh by the way, he named Charlie Crist, who then because he is such an ethical guy - returned the dirty money". Its seriously the saddest, most pathetic case of the press having a bias I have ever seen.
Jay
3:15PM FEB 6TH 2014
Absolutely correct. If this was a Republican, you couldn't turn on a TV set without it being talked about.
jose
8:42AM FEB 6TH 2014
It is too bad the people of Florida was not afforded a trial for Jim Greer. At the last moment "a fix all lawyer" appeared to "defend Greer" and cut a deal that made it all go away. Greer's witness list was like a who's who of Florida GOP corruption movers and shakers. And don't kid yoursleves John Morgan had plenty of interest in making sure that Charlie Crist come out of those "allegations" unscathed as well.

Will just one honest politician in Florida please stand up and denounce this culture of corruption?

If anyone is stupid enough to think that Jeb Bush didn't appoint judges do do his beckoning - then how did Glen Semennto - the brother of his Lake Circuit Judge Lawrence Semento get freed from a life sentence for murder in Texas to the streets of Lake County, Fl in 2006?

Then, when he committed brutal crimes against two Florida elderly men and was sentenced to the Fl state pen for 30 years - he was showing to be in the Lake County Jail when actually seen on the streets of Lake County and found to be living in the judges Baywood condo.

These criminals will stop at nothing. And they have created an atmosphere where they control the elections and politics 100% - The people of Florida will have a choice between Charlie Crist a known criminal and Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott the former Dallas, Tx Bush family oil lawyers and Texas Rangers partner with George W. Bush and Tom Hicks. Partners with Richard Rainwater in HCA/ Columbia the second largest Medicare fraud behind Miguel Recarey and Jeb Bush in IMC (International Medical Centers) rummored to be financed by Tampa mobster Santo Trafficante)

No wonder Scott Rothstein needs federal witness protection - hope he keeps on talking and finds people who are willing to listen and fix the corruption.
snafubar
9:30AM FEB 8TH 2014
More Bush derangement syndrome.

If the media had anything on Bush it would be front and center on every newspaper and TV station across the country.

You're a kook.
JOE KREPS
6:42PM FEB 6TH 2014
Nan Rich is running to clean up Florida. First she will beat Crist. Then she will beat Scott.
wow your all stupid
3:27PM FEB 7TH 2014
Nan Rich is an idiot. And so is anyone supporting her. Rick Scott is a criminal and will be replaced by Crist, a man who cares about the people of this state and the future of the environment.
JOE KREPS
2:54PM MAR 30TH 2014
Crist is a crook. You are stupid.
MiamiLoblaw
10:47AM FEB 8TH 2014
How do you know what Mr GOP, Mr Indie, Mr Dem will do??
snafubar
9:29AM FEB 8TH 2014
That would be "you're all" not "your all",

Mr. stupid.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.