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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bennett Brummer and the Bitches that Hate Him

While reading "The Bitch", the column by the tactless, insecure, unprofessional broad that works for the Miami New Times, I saw that she was trying to play up a website that has been defaming Bennett Brummer. I admittedly love the guy. Never worked for him, I just know that he cares a lot about the disenfranchised, especially youth of color, in Miami. I have seen him come by to lend support for community programs I was involved when he could have been doing something else. I have also seen him just flip into "legal saviour" and pull a few strings to help folks out on his personal time. He flies below the radar and doesn't toot his own horn though he does a great deal. I know of some of the ring leaders that disparaged him, including Lynn Overmann and Lonnie Richardson, and I know of some of the other players so I decided to give you all my take.

A couple of years ago a few frustrated employees, including Overmann, (whom I will here on out call Tacky Hoe) being one of them, decided they would like to run the Public Defender’s office that they toiled in as low level attorneys (for an average of say 3 years). Tacky Hoe and company explicitly stated to the an unwary media that Gabriel Martin was selected from their group because he is Cuban, and based on that fact alone he was qualified. Yes, this was Tacky Hoe and company's outlandishly racist assertion.

The long time Public Defender, Bennet Brummer is one of the major figures in American jurisprudence. He has worked internationally, especially in Latin America, in setting up public advocate offices. He has pioneered many innovative programs, including hiring social workers for his office, helping establish a drug court and developing antiviolence efforts in the community. He has been elected head of the National Association of Public Defenders more often than any attorney in the country. The office is one of the few Miami public institutions that recruits nationally from the best legal talent. Because of Brummer’s stature he is able to bring in the best and brightest from throughout the country, most of whom do not plan on permanently practicing in Florida. Brummer's folk recruit regardless of race, something else that makes them stand WAY out in Miami. Brummer's office has been the training ground for some top legal eagles including Roy Black and H.T. Smith; Brummer maybe the only Miami area public official that actual is respected nationally. He is passionately active in low income African American and Hispanic communities, volunteering his efforts in juvenile programs. Every major bar association including the Cuban American Bar Association has repeatedly endorsed him. The Miami Herald charged that they were too good, releasing too many bad characters upon the street. Maybe true, but that’s his job!

Gabriel Martin, well, hmmm, let's see- he worked for three years as a lawyer after dropping out of a fellowship program at Georgetown. In all fairness I hear he is a good guy, pretty intelligent, who was open to any opportunities that might come by. So he seemingly decided, "screw it, I'll give it a go". Martin remained respectful in his comments and seemingly above board in his actions during the campaign but the same could not be said of his camp.

Tacky Hoe and company decided to go all out. They tore down his campaign posters and disparaged him with blatant lies and distortions within the community. They made up misleading campaign materials. They circulated nasty letters. They even tried to mislead Black voters into thinking that Gabe was a brutha while playing the Latino race card full blast in Spanish media. I heard that Tacky Hoe even had her mother helping her by picking up and using Miami-Dade College mail services and personnel to send campaign materials (which happens to be against the law.) I know that Gabriel Martin was savvy enough to know that this wired up chick was trying to pimp him. He took the high road, not disparaging Bennett Brummer. Tacky Hoe and company took every opportunity to.

They charged that there were some senior lawyers that didn’t try cases for years, only training new lawyers, supervising and handling paperwork. (I believe they are fulfilling the needed responsibilities of ADMINISTRATORS.) They claimed that there was pressure to support Bennett Brummer in the office. If there was it surely was no more than what was occurring with the Martin-Tacky Hoe cabal.

Tacky and company also leaked a story to the Herald. Seems a disgusting Cuban American lawyer in a verbal altercation with a Black lawyer called him all kinds of niggers and black so and so’s. Following the brouhaha some Cuban lawyers said that the the Cuban American attorney involved in the incident was subject to undue negative media coverage and that Brummer, influenced by the publicity, was in danger of going overboard. It should be noted that Brummer didn’t particularly like this particular lawyer (shouldn't have mentioned that) so maybe he was inclined to be harsh. There were conflicting accounts but Bennetts investigation found that the lawyer in question did make some some sort of racial slurs. He closed the matter by issuing a filed reprimand and month unpaid suspension. Get this, in an effort to divide the office, Gabriel Martin’s tacky henchmen stated that this was racially insensitive.

Part of Miami’s dysfunction is that because there is such a limited private sector people need to rely upon the public sector as an outlet for their ambition. I call it the Rusty Melton syndrome (after the Herald reporter for hire who eventually came out the closet and opened a major lobbying firm.) The legal economy revolves around public spending.

So when some of these folks get into Mr. Brummer’s office like Tacky Hoe they realize, “Shit, there is no room for upward mobility here and no one is hiring a White attorney in this town. For a gringo Miami is like being beached on an island with hostile natives. Let me latch on to a local Cuban because they run city politics this side of the bay or at least that’s what the Herald says.”

Bennett Brummer received a nationwide (and I am not exagerrating) outpouring of support and was reelected. Gabriel Martin offered some obligatory respectful words and slithered away. Being lawyers several members of the Tacky Hoe crew decided they would sue. After several costly years of litigation the office settled for $200,000 for the main suit, far less than it would cost to continue litigation against a lawyer with time on their hands.

Now here is an excerpt from the Bitch (who I respected for her unrepentant bitchiness) prior to her own Tacky Hoe conversion-“Attorney Gabriel Martin is challenging his former boss Bennett Brummer in the election for Miami-Dade County Public Defender. Martin faced Brummer, who has held the job for 28 years, on July 17 at a forum sponsored by the Unrepresented People's Positive Action Council (UPPAC). During the debate, Walter Harvey, president of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association (formerly the Black Lawyers Association), asked Martin about his involvement in Miami's black legal community. Martin responded that he'd met with local leaders, among them the president of the Ferguson Bar Association. That came as a surprise to Harvey, who said he did not recall ever speaking with the candidate. Martin explained: "I said that I had been talking with Kenneth Walton, the president of Wilkie D. Ferguson [Bar Association] through July 1. I wasn't embarrassed, I was surprised. They never indicated there was a new president." Obviously Gabriel Martin and crew could care less about what was going on even with Black fellow LAWYERS. Tacky indeed!

I believe that whole clique doesn’t give two shits about the overwhelmingly Black, poor defendants that come into the Public Defender’s office. When I think of Tacky Hoe encountering a Black guy who isn’t wearing a tie, I’m sure she is clutching her purse doing double time. Usually I am tolerant, even supportive of opportunism and ambition but Tacky Hoe and company won't let it rest and they don't care if they screw over a real good guy- and that is what defines a Tacky Hoe. So I say all the prospective Tacky Hoes, yeah, I know Miami is rough but go get a real freakin’ corporate job with all the pay and perks and stop trying to whore up to anyone you think can get you ahead. No, I actually don't care about who you whore up, just be more selective who you screw over.

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