BY BUDDY NEVINS
Shame on you, Mardi Levey.
Or should I say, shame on you, Mardi Cohen.
Your use of your maiden name on the ballot triggered a lawsuit. It wasted thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money to print and reprint ballots.
Your charade complicated an election already difficult to run.
Why? An overwhelming desire to be on the bench? Ambition that caused you to use the name Levey instead of the name you use in everyday life, Cohen?
I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to second guess the Fourth District Court of Appeal. On Wednesday, justices reversed a trial judge who said your use of the name Levey was wrong.
The judge ruled that you shouldn’t be on the ballot. The justices said the judge was wrong and you can run in November
The appeals court may be right on the law. Your candidacy, Levey/Cohen, still doesn’t pass the smell test.
The state Constitution, Article V, states: “No person is eligible for the office of circuit judge unless the person is, and has been for the preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida.
There is no person named Mardi Levey who is a member of the Florida Bar. There is a Bar member named Mardi Cohen, but that is not the name that appeared on the ballot.
The Code of Judicial Ethics states a judicial candidate “shall not knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning themselves.
Didn’t Mardi Levey/Cohen “knowingly misrepresent her identity?
The appeals justices were reluctant to overturn the August primary, where Levey/Cohen narrowly came in second winning a place in the general election.
The appeal said a protest against her qualifications should have been filed before the election was held.
But this is clear from reading the nine-page appeal court decision:
The justices never said Levey/Cohen should be elected judge.
I’m saying that Levey/Cohen threw her candidacy away. She threw it away when she chose to run under her maiden name, a name she doesn’t use in her legal practice or in her life.
We need judges who are above the sleazy tricks of politics, like switching your name to make it easier to get elected.
If the choice in November is between Bernard “Bernie Bober and Mardi Levey/Cohen, we need Bober to be elected.