Prosecutor Replies To Critics Of Coral Springs Sunshine Law Case


I have served as a prosecutor for more than 20 years in Miami-Dade and Broward, and am proud of these years of service.  It has been disappointing in recent years to read the ongoing criticism of prosecutors and the Broward SAO when many of the comments are simply inaccurate and untrue.

Last week defense attorney Kevin Kulik initiated a public attack against State Attorney Michael J. Satz and the Broward SAO for the recent prosecution of Coral Springs Commissioners Tom Powers and Vince Boccard for a Sunshine Law Violation.  The decision to file the charge was based upon the sworn statements of Coral Springs PD Officers and police union leaders Michael Hughes and Christopher Swinson. They were reluctant witnesses from day one because they felt that a prosecution might jeopardize their ongoing union contract negotiations.  Nevertheless, their initial sworn statements provided a good-faith probable cause basis to support filing a Sunshine Law Violation.  After the depositions of Officers Hughes and Swinson, I remained convinced that there was a reasonable likelihood of conviction as the key evidence remained in place; two commissioners meeting together with two officers to discuss city business that would soon come before the Coral Springs Commission.  While I respect Judge Berman and his decision to enter a Directed Verdict, I still do not agree that the Judge should have taken this case from the jury’s consideration.

Finally, it should be noted that I did not “set up a meeting with Mr. Satz.  It was James Stark, counsel for Commissioner Boccard — not Kevin Kulik, counsel for Commissioner Powers — who initiated a plea discussion with me.  I then advised Mr. Stark that any negotiated resolution would have to be reviewed and approved by Mr. Satz.   Mr. Stark, Tim Donnelly, and I then met with Mr. Satz and the meeting resulted in no resolution.  Mr. Satz did not “order a trial; the defendants executed their constitutional right to a jury trial.

In my 15 years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward, I have probably tried more than 150 cases, and I have also reduced charges and nolle prossed cases when appropriate.  Throughout my career, my goal has always been to be professional, just and fair in my handling of cases.  This is a goal that  Mr. Satz not only expects, but requires, of all his prosecutors. This case was no exception to that high standard.

David Schulson
Assistant State Attorney
17th Judicial Circuit

18 Responses to “Prosecutor Replies To Critics Of Coral Springs Sunshine Law Case”

  1. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:



  2. Janee says:

    Schulson is a hack and Satz is asleep at the wheel.

  3. South Ocean says:

    Mr. Satz did not ‘order’ a trial. He just did not reach a negotiated resolution.

    Does the phrase “a difference without a distinction” apply here?

  4. watcher says:

    i believe he’s sincere…dropping the case without trial would have resulted in even more outrage….

  5. nice try says:

    here’s where this career prosecutor loses credibility: “my goal has always been to be professional, just and fair in my handling of cases. This is a goal that Mr. Satz not only expects, but requires, of all his prosecutors. This case was no exception to that high standard.” This statement could not be more inaccurate. Satz doesn’t allow his prosecutors any discretion to evaluate a case and dispose of it the way they, as professional lawyers, see fit. The goal is to lose in trial rather than to negotiate an appropriate (for all parties) resolution.

  6. lawyer says:

    The fact that Schulson failed to see how flimsy his case was makes him a bad lawyer

  7. Adriana Alcalde says:

    To nice try.
    You are wrong. I have been a prosecutor with Mr. Satz for 8 years and I have never felt that I was “forced” into a trial. I have discretion to do what I feel is right on my cases and I do. Any attorney that feels that they are “forced” into a trial is being unethical. If they try a case they dont believe in, then they are comprimising their own ethical duties. I may not agree with all of the policies in this office but I have never ever had Satz or any other supervisor “force” me to try a case, nor could they. The day I am told I “must” try a case I dont believe in is the last day I work for the office.

  8. Kory says:

    Satz has put innocent people on death row. What other evidence do you need of corruption?

  9. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:



  10. James says:

    The times they are a changing.

  11. Mac Fredric says:

    Watcher is absolutely correct. The mistake in this case was entering the charges in the first place!

    All of us who learned our law by never missing a Law & Order rerun know that a competent prosecutor would never bring charges on hearsay.

    For those of us who ACTUALLY read the depositions, it was immediately clear that the “probable cause” to which ASA Schulson refers lay elsewhere…

  12. Cronyism says:

    After 38 years the State Attorney can’t even tell what time it is.

  13. Prosecutor Right says:

    The prosecution had no choice but to file charges in this case. It was an allegation of corruption, talking about contracts in private. Almost nothing costs more than the police contract. If they were talking about it, it broke the law and I don’t care what the judge believes. That’s why they have appeals courts.

  14. Poirot says:

    I believe Michael Satz should be put on trial for not doing his job.

    How is it possible that so much corruption could flourish here if he was doing his job?

  15. watcher says:

    after tons of’s not what’s true it’s what you can prove and that changes constantly

  16. Eagle Eyes says:

    Let’s end this nonsense! The charges were politically motivated
    and encouraged by the Coral Springs
    Chief of Police. He admitted it.
    He obviously has a relationship
    with the States Attorney office.
    He objected to Commissioner Powers
    discussing with him cameras, manpower shortages and the chief’s
    dismal job of enforcing the law
    pertaing to fireworks. Read his deposition!! The City Manager also
    would not miss the two commissioners. He’s under the impression that they want the form of government changed to a strong
    mayor format. Supposedly, he too
    has a relationship with the States
    Attorney. It was their attempt to
    kill two birds with one stone.
    I don’t know if Coral Springs would be better off with a weak or strong City Manager. They would be better off with a NEW City
    Manager. Throw in a new Chief of Police too!
    Why didn’t David Schulson ever call
    his final witness on the second day of the trial? I suspect that it would have been Chief Foster.
    The defense would have torn him apart.
    This was the case that never should have been. A complete waste of time and money not to mention the emotional strain it placed on the Commissioners, their families and supporters. The
    Chief and City Manager should be given their walking papers!

  17. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Hey “Eagle Eyes”:



  18. Retired says:

    Dave Schulson,
    What is the status of your inquiry into Scott Rothstein and his role in the selection of judicial nominees for the 4th DCA. Kindly respond to the entire legal community and the bar.