Candidate: Police Union Endorsed My Opponent Because I Took On Bad Cops







A Broward County Courts candidate took on the police union this week, charging it endorsed her opponent because she prosecuted bad cops.

“They didn’t give me an interview. They didn’t call me about the endorsement. I imagine it was because I prosecuted police officers,” judicial candidate Adriana Alcalde told the Pembroke Pines Century Village Democratic Club’s lunchtime meeting on Thursday.


adriana alcalde

Adriana Alcalde


The Broward County Police Benevolent Association endorsement recently went to Alcalde’s opponent Betsy Benson.

Benson was an unusual choice for the police union. She is a veteran public defender, representing the individuals charged by the police with a crime.

“I can only believe that they (PBA) don’t like it because I prosecuted officers who broke the law,” former sex crimes prosecutor Alcalde told the group.

“If I lose the election because of this, I don’t care,” she continued. “I don’t believe police officers are above the law. If they break the law, they should be prosecuted. I will stick to my principles even if it costs me the election. Everybody should be equal under the law, including police officers.”

Among those prosecuted by Alcalde was a Broward Sheriff’s deputy alleged to have raped a jail inmate, a police captain who molested a girl and another officer who sexually abused a child.

Benson followed Alcalde and addressed the Democratic activists. She said she was proud to have the PBA endorsement. She could not be reached for further comment.

Candidates have repeatedly alleged over the years that the Broward PBA endorsement process is unfair. The union allegedly steers its endorsements to favored candidates without interviewing opponents.

No PBA official could be reached for comment.

35 Responses to “Candidate: Police Union Endorsed My Opponent Because I Took On Bad Cops”

  1. Racial bias? says:

    This would make the second election cycle that the PBA has refused to interview a Hispanic female running for County Court Judge. They refused to interview Claudia Estrada Robinson and Judge Ian Richards two years ago and endorsed John Kasen.

  2. Wait A Minute says:

    What is a Judicial candidate doing at a Democratic meeting it is against the cannons another one bites the dust


    Judicial candidates are allowed to appear at political clubs if all are invited. The relevant section of Canon 7 of the Judicial Ethics is:

    “A judicial candidate involved in an election or re-election, or a merit retention candidate who has certified that he or she has active opposition, may attend a political party function to speak in behalf of his or her candidacy or on a matter that relates to the law, the improvement of the legal system, or the administration of justice. The function must not be a fund raiser, and the invitation to speak must also include the other candidates, if any, for that office.”

  3. Chip LaMarca says:

    Ms. Alcalde,
    Don’t feel bad. I have always supported law enforcement (from my years on the Lighthouse Point City Commission 2005-2010) and when I opposed the Broward County Mayor in 2010, the PBA wasn’t interested in supporting me. Funny enough, after spending four years putting public safety first, they still supported the same guy and do you know what? HE LOST…AGAIN!

    Do yourself a favor and go meet with the FOP and the new reps at IUPA. Don’t forget the great men and women of the IAFF. If they believe in you, they will be out there on the streets for you!

    Kindest regards,
    Chip LaMarca
    Broward County Commissioner

  4. LEO says:

    Chip is right. We are out on the streets every day for everybody.
    I don’t think that Ms. Alcalde has a problem with us. I think she has a problem with the union. I have one, too.
    Police officers have no place for ANYONE who breaks the law and this is especially true of sex criminals.

  5. Sour Grapes Tantrum says:

    Wow…talk about Sour Grapes and a bad judicial temperament! OK…so the PBA didn’t reach out to you Adrian…did YOU ever try to reach out to them? Did you cultivate any relationships with them? Or did you just expect to get the police endorsement because you were an average prosecutor? If so, that sounds a lot like an entitlement attitude. Perhaps the PBA just thought Benson is better qualified to be judge. Maybe…just maybe…she took the time to educate them on her qualifications. Can’t you at least give the police that much? Are you such a diva that you whine when things aren’t handed to you? We see Benson appearing at several functions every day, while Adrian travels at a much more relaxed public pace. Do we really want a judge who jumps to such a nasty conclusion without having taken the time to back it up with more than just a sour grapes conclusion? I say, good job PBA. Stay tuned for the next entitlement tantrum by Alcalde!

  6. At- sour grapes says:

    Where do you get bad temperament? Curious. She seems to be calling it like it is. The PBA contacts candidates. I don’t think it is whining to speak your mind. It is refreshing to see a candidate that isn’t scared to do that. Seems that if she wasn’t intimidated by the PBA that is just the kind of person we need as a judge.

  7. Sheila Alu says:

    I took over Adriana’s cases in sex crimes when she was asked to go to the public corruption unit. She was asked to go to a unit that needed an honest and experienced prosecutor. Her love and passion was always to the victims of sexual abuse. Adriana went to a unit where she was truly needed even though she knew some officers would not see her in the best light. I worked on opposite sides of Betsy Benson in the Juvenile Trial Unit. Against the advice of experts, she consistently argued to release the most dangerous juveniles back into society knowing full well they were a danger to the public. In addition, Benson would always call into question the truth of testimony of LEO’s. I am voting for Adriana because I know she will treat officers, victims and the public with the respect they deserve. Good luck Adriana and God bless our officers for what you do every day for us!

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Altough I am a Democrat I am more Boubon Democrat than Yellow Dog so merit trumps party or ideology in my view. I may or not support Miss Benson BUT ALL MEDIA REPORTS I HAVE SEEN MISS BENSON IS OUT N AROUND MEETING N GREETING while Miss Alacaid has NOT BEEN AS ACTIVE.


  9. disgruntled says:

    unions have always supported a person or party not on the ground of whomever would do the best for society but who would nefit there aims… period, and the police union has done this for milenia, I remember when they supported rosemary barket on the supremes, a woman who never met a felon she didn’t grieve for, because they thought it was in their interest , not because they gave a hoot about her left oof center opinions and how the affected law enforcement. same here, by anointing the public defender over the prosecutor they are sending a message to lay off, let the gendarmes do whatever just leave them alone , pay them more and more, increase their pensions etc. its all about self interest,,, why delude ourselves and think otherwise….

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Betsy Benson has many more endorsements beyond that…

  11. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Oddly enough, just this week, Jeff Marano, President of the Broward PBA, did something so stupid it makes me wonder if he has a screw loose. He released a false statement this week accusing me of “brokering” a union endorsement for a candidate for office, without so much as calling me first, and when I made it clear I had nothing to do with it, he refused to apologize or withdraw his false statement. He then suggested that his lie was in retaliation for my support of police body cameras — which he opposes. One has to have no scuples or professionalism to act in so dishonorable a way. The PBA has endorsed me many times and my commitment to our police snd law enforcement professionals will always remain strong. But perhaps, in light of recent events, the time has come for PBA members to reassess what caliber of leadership merits their support. Refusal to correct intentional lies is not in keeping with that standard. To be sure, if this “tactic” is what we can expect from the PBA, if this is an example of their new standard, they can take their endorsement and shove it. I prtsonally don’t sell out my honor or oath for any endorsement. Nobody owns me. And I prefer not to associate with liars.

  12. Community Lawyer says:

    Here is a thought….could the PBA have endorse Miss Benson NOT because her opponent prosecuted law enforcement BUT rather because Miss Benson was simply the better candidate? Miss Benson has practiced law in Broward County for 31 years! She has practiced both civil and criminal law. Her community involvement spans just as long. When Miss Benson goes to community event throughout Broward she is among friends not because she is running for judge but because those individuals have known Miss Benson for her years of dedication and commitment to the citizens of Broward county. Miss Benson simply is the better candidate and you don’t have to be a member of the PBA to know that.

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    On second thought what the heck is the Democratic Party having LUNCHTIME MEETINGS ON THURSDAY – A WORK DAY?
    Who is free then? POLITICAL PARASITES WHO GET GOVERNMENT N NON PROFIT CHECKS BUT DONT HAVE TO WORK REAL HOURS? How many working or middle or professional Blacks are “free” for political lyncheons on a WORKDAY!!!


    As long as the Democratic establishment ignores our FELLOW BLACK DEMOCRATS Broward County’s Democratic Party apparatus will be a joke.

  14. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Its amazing to see all these politicians running to get endorsements from the PBA, to are local FOP , but when elections are over how quick these elected officals (some) just sweep them under the rug along w/ their issues. Are police depts. are constantly being harassed that they don’t do their jobs, that they bully the residents. We have a very good police dept. in Ft>alu and great that their union,along w/ the PBA has such great influence in endorsing these polticians when elections come around. Just remember them not just around election time, but throughout the year…

  15. Disgusted says:

    The Broward PBA is a joke. Maybe that is why BSO dumped them. Don’t delude yourself into thinking there was any rational thought behind the endorsement. There are no bad cops, there are only criminals masquerading in uniform. Good cops don’t like criminals because it makes our job that much harder. You should have never even brought this up, it just gives the Broward PBA credibility.

  16. @community lawyer says:

    I might believe that is why they endorsed Benson if they had just been fair and interviewed all the candidates (like they did in all the races). The fact they didn’t even interview her shows that they never had any intention of endorsing her.

  17. Where is Howard says:

    To date I have not heard that Benson has the endorsement of her boss Howard Finkelstien. I would enjoy the irony of Benson having the endorsments of the PBA and Cop Hater Howard on the same hanout.

  18. Scowl says:

    To me, the oddest comment on this blog is Angelo’s. Really Angelo? It’s taken you THIS long to realize that Jeff Marano has a screw loose? You seem to have opinions based in fact on many issues, how could you have missed Marano’s thirty plus year history of crap in this County?

  19. Howard the Moron says:

    Angelo….you are such a hypocrite.


    What makes Angelo Castillo “a hypocrite?” I don’t think he is.

  20. Howard the Moron says:


    I prtsonally don’t sell out my honor or oath for any endorsement. Nobody owns me. And I prefer not to associate with liars.

    Honor and oath got me immediately. LOL

  21. Behind the Scenes says:

    @20 I think you may be out of your depth.

  22. Ann Jello says:

    @11: You are a politician, you always associate with liars, that’s the true hypocrisy that you portray,project, and or are….

  23. Alcalde's misleading claims about police says:

    Adrian Alcalde wants credit for having the stones to “take on the police”. That’s blatantly misleading! Those were sex crimes cases and we all know that SBU has separate prosecutors who make the decision of whether to file charges. The ONLY reason Alcalde prosecuted those cops is because the filed cases ended up in front of her assigned judge and the file was placed on her desk. Prosecutors in Mike Satz office don’t get to pick and choose when a case is assigned to them. You either prosecute the cases that are assigned to you or you quit. She had no choice, so to try to claim otherwise is just plain misleading and not a very good sign for an aspiring judge.

  24. @23- uninformed says:

    Alcalde was in the special prosecution unit. She was there for two years. In that unit prosecutors file their own cases. She filed her own cases and informations. Some of her cases while in that unit were also sex crimes cases (which SHE filed). There is nothing misleading about that. She filed, prosecuted and won those cases. Please inform yourself before making such false accusations.

  25. too funny says:

    Yeah like anyone cares about the inner workings of the State Attorneys office…

    What matters is this, she got convictions on cops who were child molesters. End of discussion.

    Benson fans can whine all they want but here is how the race breaks down…

    Alcalde was highly successful at putting away child molesters and Betsy Benson was the defender of child molesters.

    Go ask voters, would they vote for someone who took child molesters off the street or for their public defender who tried to get them off. Not a hard choice. Alcalde walks with this race.

  26. Howard the Moron says:

    @21 guess again. I see what you don’t want to, or should I say..thanks Angelo for your witty comment?

    @22 I am glad that other smart people see the same thing.

  27. #5 and #23 aka Jeff says:

  28. not surprised says:

    How do you know she is the best candidate when the closing date to file for the judges position is not until May 6th 2016?

  29. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @25 seems to think alleged child molesters shouldnt have proper legal process. REALLY AND WHERE DOES @25 GET HIS – people like @25 are always embittered badly educated lower class old White guys I’ve noticed – LEGAL THEORIES –

  30. Dear Count says:

    You are right, in a perfect world no defense attorney should be criticized because they upheld their oath. Sadly we do not live in that world.

    We live in Trumpland, the land where the majority of people have no issue with tossing out illegals and branding those practice Islam terrorists in waiting.

    You sir are an educated voter, your thoughts here are well founded. Unfortunately for Benson, there may not be enough of those to carry the day.

    In reality, no one cares or if they do care they would never say it out loud that child molesters deserve anything other than a life in hell and anyone who defends them should be there too.


    Absolutely true.

    An Assistant Public Defender job must provide their client, a defendant, with the best possible defense in court. Having a defense attorney is one of the most valuable and treasured Constitutional protections Americans enjoy. I presume that Benson did nothing more than her job.

  31. Disgusted by PBA says:

    There is a huge difference between defending your client to the best of your ability and getting your client off at ALL costs. What Marano did and continues to do is nothing short of self serving. Why not wait 2 months before all candidates must file instead of endorsing someone now? What is the rush ? Was it a favor or is he just mad at Sheriff Isreal ?

  32. Sad but true says:

    Like Freedom of Religion, the right to a fair trial is a fundamental constitutional right. I don’t think anyone said Benson did anything wrong. The problem that was exposed in the we live in the post Bush 911 world where constitutional rights are quickly forgotten when necessary. The irony is that the PBA by not interviewing Alcalde discriminated against her for the same reason as those above were critical of Benson, simply doing ones job as a lawyer.

  33. Sober As a Judge says:

    #31 Mad at Sheriff Israel for what? Because BSO deputies who have been talking about it for years finally fired the PBA and voted instead to be represented by IUPA? Sheriff Israel had nothing to do with that vote. With IUPA at least the deputies get to choose who their union representatives are. Not so at the PBA. The situation there is very politically controlled by a select handful of people. This is not what the deputies wanted any longer. They voted to end that relationship and start a new one. Israel had nothing to do with it just ask any BSO deputy you wish. Jeff Marano is just trying to escape responsibility by blaming the Sheriff for events that Marano brought upon himself.

  34. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    As far as the deputy being charged for murder , manslaughter etc. its not her fault , I am assuming she was assigned the case etc, then as a prosecutor she has to do her job. This deputy was used as scrapegoat. I would point out the deputy had no way of knowing that the deceased was wearing ear buds not being able to hear the deputies commands. Bring out the fact how loud the deceased was listening to the ear buds, bring out what was he listening to . Full volume, rap music , loud bass, you get it. The deputy had no way of knowing that the deceased could not hear his commands. The deputy learned after the fact the deceased had an ear piece in(ear buds). Finally you have a witness anyone , put th e ear buds in at full volume etc(in front of the jury). and then preside to talk to the witness. prove you can’t hear a thing. Your deputy walks, gets his job back, we move on……

  35. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Courts try cases with lawyers and a Judge and usually a jury.
    Any comments on a pending or appealed case are a disservice to the judicial system n our government based on laws not men and certainly not bloggers