Buddy Discusses Bill Gelin, JAABlog And Mike Satz


Bill Gelin’s JAABlog is perhaps the best thing that has happened to the Broward County Courthouse in recent years.

The blog questions the entrenched establishment at the courthouse.  The result:  The courthouse is finally entering the 21st Century.

It needed to be done.   

That’s not to say that Gelin and I don’t have our differences.

Gelin wrote gently about his problems with me on JAABlog here.  I’ll write about my disagreements with him below.

My biggest problem with Gelin’s blog is the personal attacks from anonymous readers.  They are juvenile. It is frightening that lawyers and judges are the authors. 

I don’t mind folks striking out as they deal with issues. But to anonymously allege sexual misconduct and to use ethnic slurs is way too much for me.

I find much of JAABlog’s comment boards nothing more than digital graffiti.  Some of Gelin’s readers obviously need psychiatric treatment.  

I also find Gelin’s obsession with State Attorney Mike Satz misplaced.  Satz is not Darth Vadar, but JAABlog treats him as such.

Is he the world’s toughest public corruption fighter?  No, by any means. 

Although he does a good job going after corrupt building inspectors and thieving bureaucrats, Satz has been too reluctant to go after elected officials.

Is he inflexible when it comes to minor drug prosecutions, which are mainly aimed at blacks and the poor?  Most definitely.   

Should Satz have realized that something was hinky about Rothstein before the scamster skedaddled to Morocco? 

Come on.  Hindsight is 20-20. The idea that Satz would investigate someone because they don’t appear to be on the up-and-up is downright scary.

I ate lunch with Gelin last week.  I told him if he didn’t like Satz, he had to do more than just write.  

He needed to find somebody to run against Satz.

The candidate would have to have a resume like Circuit Judge Cindy Imperato, a good looking woman who was a cop and a statewide prosecutor before joining the bench.  

I’m sure she’s not interested.

The point is that a tough woman with some law enforcement background is the type of candidate that can beat Satz. The woman needs to be attractive, have some political skills and be able to raise a minimum of $500,000.

Campaigning for state attorney will be tough.  This is a very expensive market to run a countywide race in. It will be a grueling battle in a county with as many voters as in some states.  To win a candidate must commit a year of 24/7 work.

Finding a candidate and helping them win is a demanding job.  It is much easier to sit on the sidelines and blog.

But the only way Gelin and Satz’s other critics will change the State Attorney’s Office is to find a credible candidate to run against him.

22 Responses to “Buddy Discusses Bill Gelin, JAABlog And Mike Satz”

  1. T. R. says:

    Bill Gelin is a failed atty who has few real paying clients. Instead of practicing, he decided to make a name for himself with that piece of s… blog. The blog has been used to destroy lives and crush anybody he and his ally Howard Finkelstein sees as opposing the goal of making it as easy as possible to escape punishment for crimes.

  2. Raul G. says:

    Judge Imperato couldn’t win because she is a Republican. The Democratic sheep would never vote for her, no matter how good a state attorney she would make. The same Democratic sheep will stick with Satz no matter what and that is why it will be almost impossible to beat him.

    FROM BUDDY: You are probably right about the judge being a Republican. The parts of Imperato’s resume that I mentioned –a former cop and prosecutor — is the type of background needed by anybody who wants to beat Satz. Also, remember I said a Satz challenger would ideally be attractive and telegenic (For instance, I believe Imperato used to appear on television in Tallahassee.), essential in this media age and a big media market like Broward.

  3. POD says:

    After Israel vs. Lamberti, I would not assume Dem’s would go with Satz just because he was a dem. As it came out in the Sheriff’s race, elected offices that are law enforcement positions, people tend to look beyond party affiliation and more at credentials. Judge Imperato would be an interesting challenger but I doubt she would have interest in the position but I agree with Buddy as to the concept and/or type of candidate that would be needed to make a viable run.

    As someone who has practiced criminal defense in his career, I have disagreed with Satz’s office on many issues, many of the same issues Mr. Gelin takes issue with. The problem is that the voters don’t care about residue cases, who Ana Gardiner had dinner with and what was discussed, etc,. The voters just want to have a security blanket (no matter how faulty the logic) which Satz provides when he says he is a tough crime fighter who puts criminals with prison.

    If Satz is ever going to be vulnerable in an election it is going to be because:
    1) People don’t like how he handles public corruption cases.
    2) It can be shown that the current way Satz runs his office and prosecutes cases is not fiscally sound.
    3) That by focusing on the use of treatment for drug crimes would not expose the citizenry to lawlessness in the streets.

    Can Satz loose, its doubtful, but eventually a time comes where people just think a person has been there too long, look at Clay Shaw.

    FROM BUDDY: Thanks for your comment.
    You might be interested to know that when Clay Shaw was first elected to Congress in 1980, Satz had already been in office four years.

  4. Russ says:

    I would not say Gelin’s blog is the best thing to happen at the Courthouse, unless you like an occasionally updated site whose chief objective appears to be promoting the PD, ridiculing the SA, and taking repeated shots at sitting Judges. He also seeks to establish Kevin Kulik as some sort of force in Broward Judicial politics. It is apparent Gelin must have not fared well before the Honorable Dale Ross during his tenure at the PD, as his disdain for Judge Ross is apparent and disgusting.

    FROM BUDDY: I like Dale Ross.

  5. Jerk says:

    Gee its Mike “Aturd” Ahern trying to sound like he knows something about campaigns. Hopefully you will do better running your pal Klitzberg’s campaign then you did with Israel. You used to be friends with Judge Seidman now you are against him. Judge Seidman is one of the most honest, ethical and hardest working judge Broward has ever seen. He has no worries though, as everyone knows besides carrying Seiler’s and Judy Stern’s bags you know nothing of how to win a campaign.

  6. anon says:

    “My biggest problem with Gelin’s blog is the personal attacks from anonymous readers. They are juvenile. It is frightening that lawyers and judges are the authors.

    I don’t mind folks striking out as they deal with issues. But to anonymously allege sexual misconduct and to use ethnic slurs is way too much for me.”

    Wow, Buddy this is so true. Many of Gelin’s bloggers are offensive and racist. It’s scary to think that mindset is alive and well in our justice system (assuming that the bloggers are lawyers and judges). The attacks on Jews as lawyers, judges and politicians is disgraceful. Even women are attacked brutally on the blog. And many seem to use the blog to malign people in the system, to even politically threaten them. How much should be moderated? For Gelin it’s only the most horribly offensive stuff that get’s deleted. That’s his style. Free speech I suppose. Not a bad thing.

    You have made some other good points. Gelin is trying to make change… this isn’t always easy. There will be growing pains.

    And Satz is not a bad guy. I think he has served us well. He gets a bad rap on the Jaablog. He has devoted his life to the job and is squeaky clean. He runs an office of 200 lawyers who could run amuck… but he keeps everything running well for our county. Some of his policies are outdated- a few things need tweaking. ok. He could easily fix that- and should.

    But then again…. how long is too long?

  7. Mark Springer says:


    I agree that the anonymous readers’ personal attacks that appear on Gelin’s blog are a problem, and that they are, as you nicely put it, nothing more than “digital graffiti”.

    However, my bigger problem with Gelin’s blog is the personal attacks by Gelin himself.

    If you don’t view, as personal attacks, Gelin’s recent “Satz With 1970’s Dinner Pals” or his Tuesday blog’s “How Come Satz Pals Around With So Many Criminals” … I do.

    Gelin’s personal attacks are “middle digit” graffiti that he shoots at those with whom he disagrees.

    Gelin misses the point of journalistic integrity. A straight shooter uses intelligent argument, not personal attacks.

  8. Michael G. Ahearn, Esq says:

    Looks like I got hit with some digital grafitti . No big deal.

    As I have said in my own name many times on Jaab, if people have such a problem with me, feel free to tell me to my face otherwise I could care less. I personally believe that if you have something to say you do so in your own name.

    As for Nate, he is a friend and I wish him the best but he is in a tough race running against a well funded sitting Judge. I personally have nothing to do with that race.

  9. Joke of a Judge says:

    Lee Seidman is the biggest joke to ever sit as a judge in Broward County. He is an embarrassment to the Judiciary. The above post is obviously from Seidman himself since no one else would have such an opinion.

  10. blacktipshark says:

    Buddy: Why does it have to be a woman? After all that Satz did not do with the school board, county commission and his MANY prosecutorial misconduct cases, are you saying that another man can’t beat him just because its a man? Don’t you think people are sick and tired of having to pay thousands of dollars for Satz’ office wrongful convictions of innocent people?

    FROM BUDDY: It doesn’t have to be a woman. It is just that a female candidate would make a good impression standing next to Satz on television and at speeches.

  11. dk says:

    i read jaablog occasionally and get some useful info from it, but I also am surprised at how mean-spirited many of the bloggers are. i notice that whenever i feel a bit mean-spirited, i am not truly happy inside. the happier i am, the more good i see in people. i wish all the mean-spirited people can just look inside and try to find a way to be happy and the kindness will float to the top. love and peace to all 🙂

  12. Gonzo says:

    satz is a disgrace. we need a new state attorney who has the balls and conviction to prosecute corrupt politicos, from staff to electeds to business folk.

  13. Contributions says:

    Nice to see Scott Rothstein and Co. gave campaign contributions to Seidman, Hurley and Tobin. Tobin should investigate this as the sitting judge on statewide corruption.

  14. luckydog says:

    The Supreme Court must immediately replace Tobin as head of the grand jury investigation into Broward corruption. He is way too close to many of those being investigated. What were they thinking?

  15. Gonzo says:

    The question about what would constitute a good candidate to run against Satz boils down to should it be a downtown ft. lauderdale type or a qualified practicing suburban lawyer. the downtown type could automatically be regarded as the same ol same old insider type, right or wrong, which could end up automatically being rejected by what i am assuming is an angry, irritated electorate.

  16. PC Jane says:

    Michael Satz, Lee Seidman, Chuck Morton, Stanton Kaplan, Elijah Williams, Scott Raft, Tim Donnelly, Joel Silvershein, Susan Selzer, Howard Finkelstein….so many judges looking the other way, 1 by 1 they pass the ball to yet another. They seem to be cowards and not esteemed professionals to be held in high regard.

    There must be 1 person willing to take a chance and run with it. One day he or she may prove that indeed Courage is a virtue.

  17. Lois Lane says:

    The Dirtiest Secret in the Courthouse Case.

    So,let me get this straight. Chuck Morton, the deputy state attorney is being represented by an assistant attorney general who did not bother getting authorization for that representation?

    That same AAG, John Bajger, is also using public funds to represent Tim Donnelly, Joel Silvershein, and Scott Raft.

    Isn’t Tim Donnelly currently prosecuting Broward Politicians for pretty much the same thing?

    Here is my suggestion, Morton should prosecute Donnelly,while Silvershein prosecutes Raft, then, they can all switch places.

  18. Lois Lane says:

    State v Errico

    According to Clay Kaeiser’s pleading:
    -Chrissie Menillo, the daughter of the deceased Sandra Menillo, last saw her mother alive at 2 a.m.
    -Patrick Menillo, divorced from Sandra, was also at Sandra’s home at 2 a.m.
    -On 5/14/2014, Patrick Menillo told SAO Investigator Dan Murray that he’d just talked (on the 14th)to Chrissie Menillo; and that Chrissie stated Pat had not seen Sandra for weeks prior to her death.
    -Hmmm…is anyone sure of that?
    -Scott Raft should get that contact info and interview Chrissie Menillo.

  19. PCJane says:

    State vs Scott Errico

    The interesting question is, ‘For how long will Scott Raft keep protecting Chuck Morton?’

    If Raft sees a prima facia case that a crime has been committed (i.e. Patrick Menillo murdered Sandra Menillo), he has his own obligations to the law.

  20. Lois Lane says:

    That would be beautiful! Raft calling Morton to testify before a grand jury.

  21. clark says:

    I wonder if Chuck Morton will be teaching ‘ethics’ next semester at Nova. If so, it should be an interesting class.