By ARNE BLACK
“Nobody should be in office for 36 years,” Chris Mancini says, and he has a point. The former Federal prosecutor is speaking of the current Broward County State Attorney, Mike Satz, who Mancini intends to unseat in the upcoming August 14th Democratic Primary. Satz was first elected to the post in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President of the United States, and has held it ever since. “He keeps saying that he’s been re-elected. He submits his name, no one runs against him, and he gets reappointed to the position,” says Mancini.
“If you analyze Satz’s wins and losses in court for the past three years, he has the highest lost-case rate in the state of Florida. He likes to say that he’s only lost 641 cases. Those are major cases involving murders, robberies, and homicides, in addition to DUI cases, which, to me, are equally as dangerous,” Mancini adds. “If you are on the highway, the most likely way you’re going to get injured is by some drunk driver. Satz has an enormous loss rate in prosecuting these people.”
When approached about his failure in court, Satz points to the plea bargains he negotiates. “Almost 40 percent of his plea bargain cases are drug-residue cases,” Mancini asserts.xxx “Cocaine or marijuana is found on people, or in cars stopped for routine traffic violations. These people aren’t a danger to the public. It’s ridiculous to cite those cases as meaningful. There’s no public protection going on here. There’s no violent crime being stopped or eliminated.”
In the past few years, major crime has risen in Broward County, after having taken a dip in 2009, with crime against gays on the increase. “I don’t believe there has been an openly-gay person hired at the State Attorney’s office in any position of responsibility,” says Mancini. “If the purpose of the State Attorney’s office in a diverse community like Broward County is to represent minority groups, Satz has failed completely by not extending a position to the gay community,” he adds.
“Gays are the target of robbery at nightclubs late at night, as well as being the victims of the actual employees of those clubs. If the State Attorney wanted to do something about this, he could have targeted those individuals who come into this community with the sole purpose of robbing gays,” Mancini notes, pledging to actively pursue such cases.
“[Satz’s] whole system is geared to running large numbers of cases through the system, to give the appearance that he is protecting the public. All the cases that Satz talks about are the ones in which he’s ridden on the coattails of the Feds. After the federal officers have made a case, he tags along and cleans up the leftovers,” says Mancini.
“What I’d like to know,” Mancini asks, “is why he hasn’t filed a single prosecution from the Scott Rothstein ponzi scheme? Yet he took money from Scott Rothstein in 2007 for his campaign. Police officers were providing prostitutes to Rothstein’s clients. That’s a state crime that Satz should be prosecuting. Police officers are dealing drugs. That’s a state crime that Satz should prosecute,” he adds.
The candidate claims that when answers are demanded, the incumbent’s reasoning doesn’t match the reality. “Satz says he doesn’t have enough money, yet he has a staff where six or seven people make $150,000 a year.
These are the same people who show up at the political rallies handing out the literature in the middle of the day: State employees doing private campaigning. And he’s gotten away with it for 36 years.