Department of Corrections

O.J. Simpson attorney fires back at Bondi

An attorney for O.J. Simpson went on a Twitter tirade over the weekend after Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Florida didn’t want the fallen football great.

Attorney Malcolm LaVergne advised Bondi via Twitter that Simpson “can and will move to Florida.” LaVernge then added “None of your business.”

LaVergne also predicted that Bondi would “lose her seat next year.”

It’s true that Bondi won’t be returning to the Florida Cabinet as attorney general next year. But that’s won’t have anything to do with where she thinks Simpson should live. Bondi can’t run for re-election, due to the state’s constitutional term limits.

“Florida AG had 70 days to comment on Simpson move,” LaVergne tweeted. “Realized opportunity to score political points. Will lose her seat next year.”

Simpson, 70, was released early Sunday from the Lovelock Correction Center after serving nearly 10 years of a 33-year sentence for an armed robbery and kidnapping involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

LaVergne’s tweet storm came after Bondi on Friday issued a press release and three-page letter to Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones objecting to Simpson’s relocation to the Sunshine State. Bondi told Jones that the state objected to Nevada granting Simpson permission to travel to Florida while on parole.

Simpson, who has children living in Florida, had a home in Miami that was foreclosed on in 2012. Tom Scotto, a friend of Simpson’s who lives in Naples and was referenced in Bondi’s letter to Jones, also has offered to house Simpson.

“Floridians are well aware of Mr. Simpson’s background, his wanton disregard for the lives of others, and of his scofflaw attitude with respect to the heinous acts for which he has been found civilly liable,” Bondi wrote. “The specter of his residing in Florida should not be an option. Numerous law enforcement officials in Florida agree with this position. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal.”

Bondi also referenced allegations that Simpson killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

“Additionally, it bears noting that Mr. Simpson has a disturbing history of arrests and destructive behavior, dating back in California to spousal battery charges in 1989, to which he pled ‘no contest,’ prior to causing the gruesome deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994,” Bondi wrote Jones.

That didn’t sit well with LaVergne, who’s @SinCityAttorney on Twitter.

“Florida AG had 70 days to comment on Simpson move,” LaVergne tweeted. “Realized opportunity to score political points. Will lose her seat next year.”

LaVergne also brought up a $25,000 donation Trump made to Bondi’s political committee, questioning whether that influenced her office to dismiss allegations that Floridians had been bilked by Trump University. Bondi has adamantly denied a connection between the contribution and her office’s handling of the Trump University issue.

Sunday morning, LaVergne took to Twitter again: “Saw interview on FoxNews. Complimented Simpson kids! Rest just good politics for her. Fair enough. Still will lose next year. M.”

By Jim Turner.

Prison officials, disabled inmates reach settlement

Florida corrections officials and lawyers for disabled inmates have settled a lawsuit accusing the state of discrimination against inmates who are blind, deaf or confined to wheelchairs.

The lawsuit detailed the plights of more than two dozen inmates who are deaf, blind or need wheelchairs or prosthetic devices but who were repeatedly denied services or assistance and who were threatened with retaliation for complaining. Some inmates were also excluded from jobs because of their disabilities, according to the complaint.

Under the settlement agreement finalized last week, the state promised, among other things, to provide sign-language interpreters for deaf inmates and to remove architectural barriers for prisoners who use wheelchairs.

“It will be a game changer for them,” Florida Justice Institute Executive Director Randall Berg, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Disability Rights Florida and more than 30 inmates last year, said during a telephone interview Monday when asked about the impact of the settlement agreement on disabled prisoners.

The complaint laid out a plethora of woes encountered by deaf inmates. In some instances, deaf prisoners waited years for their hearing aids to be repaired or replaced and were not provided American Sign Language interpreters for critical events such as medical appointments. Some deaf inmates were forced to serve as interpreters for other prisoners during doctors’ visits, possibly violating federal privacy laws. Special telephones for the hearing-impaired were often broken or unavailable, the lawyers wrote, and deaf prisoners couldn’t hear announcements, causing them to miss “critical events” such as meals.

Read more here.