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Dyer charges to be dropped.

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BREAKING NEWS

Charges to be dropped against Buddy Dyer, others

By Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted April 20, 2005, 9:37 AM EDT

The special prosecutor who brought a case against ousted Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and three others for violating state election law will dismiss all the charges this morning, according to attorneys involved.

rest of Dyer article from Orlando Sentinel...

(just caught Lakelander's post regarding posting of news clippings)

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If this turns out to be the case and the charges are dismissed, Dyer is going to come out of this with his reputation intact, and possibly enhanced, as he'll be able to play up the whole "this was politically motivated" angle.

What a huge waste of time and resources. Glad this is over with.

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Thats freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!! I thought he would get acquitted but didn't think they would just up and drop the charges. Great news :D

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Thats freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!! I thought he would get acquitted but didn't think they would just up and drop the charges. Great news :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

makes me think their reasons are politically motivated.... ;)

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Wesh.com said that they need to admit that they did break the law to get this.

Charges Dropped Against Dyer; Bush Will Reinstate Him Today

Agreement Cancels May 3 Special Election

POSTED: 10:18 am EDT April 20, 2005

UPDATED: 2:02 pm EDT April 20, 2005

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Suspended Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will likely get his job back as soon as this afternoon.

Dyer, who was suspended from office by Gov. Jeb Bush on March 11, entered into an agreement this morning that drops all criminal charges against him.

That agreement, which is called pretrial intervention, will result in the case being dropped and no criminal trial taking place after Dyer abides by certain conditions.

Under Florida law, anyone charged with a nonviolent third-degree felony can apply for PTI.

In exchange for the PTI agreement, Dyer admits that the state's interpretation of a specific election law is correct and agrees to abide by it.

State prosecutor Brad King said he sent a set of documents and a letter stating that the case is closed to the governor. Bush, who is on his way back to Tallahassee from Washington, said he will sign the executive order today that reinstates Dyer as mayor. Bush is scheduled to be back in the state around 4 p.m.

"It's called a pretrial intervention agreement and a dismissal of the case. What that does is, on the agreement of the parties, each of the persons charged is going to pay $500 cost of the FDLE investigation. Each party agrees to abide by, I hesitate to say the state of Florida because at this point it is my interpretation as it relates to this case, interpretation of Florida statute 104.047 and each of them, in return for that, I agree that I will, in essence, drop the charges against them," King said.

The Florida statue that King referred to says that campaigns cannot pay workers to collect absentee ballots. The meaning of the law, which was just passed in 1998, has been hotly disputed since Dyer's indictment.

Dyer was indicted by a grand jury on March 10, along with his campaign manager, Patti Sharp, campaign worker Ezzie Thomas and Circuit Judge Alan Apte, who also hired Thomas to work on his campaign. Dyer, Sharp and Apte were charged for paying Thomas to collect absentee ballots. Thomas has admitted getting paid thousands of dollars to collect absentee ballots for Dyer in 2004. Thomas, 74, was charged with one count of accepting financial gain for absentee ballot collection or possession.

Thomas claimed he did nothing illegal by picking up absentee ballots in the black community, something he has done for many Republican and Democratic candidates for years.

All four disagree with the grand jury's interpretation of the law but they are voluntarily agreeing that they broke the law, as interpreted by the grand jury. With all four agreeing that they broke the law, they will enter the PTI program, which includes supervision, abiding by certain conditions, especially not breaking that law again, and they will all have to pay $500 to cover the costs of investigation. In exchange, all charges will be dropped.

When reporters asked King why he dropped the charges instead of pursuing them, he said he is, in essence, putting all politicians on notice. He said the law is here, it's in effect and people who violate it in the future will be charged.

After King's news conference, interim Orlando Mayor Ernest Page said this is a "great day" for the Dyer family and for the citizens of Orlando.

"I have instructed our City Attorney to take actions to help expedite the reinstatement process. He has been in touch with the governor's office and we await the governor's action. Once the reinstatement has been made, the special election process will be cancelled. We will notify the public as soon as we have confirmation," Page said.

About 90,000 ballots have already been printed for the special election. So far, the city has spent about $26,000 on the special election, which would have cost taxpayers more than $100,000. The city's clerk said the deal came just in time.

"The timing is such that we didn't even have to mail out our postcards tomorrow, so we saved even more than we would have (if it happened tomorrow)," said Orlando city clerk Alana Brenner.

The city was scheduled to mail out sample ballots Thursday, which would have cost between $11,000 and $15,000 in postage.

Former Orlando Mayor Bill Frederick, who was leading all other special election candidates in recent polls, slammed King's actions.

"Orlando has been turned upside down. This debacle by prosecutor Brad King is totally without precedent. King's actions have caused grievous damage, not only to Mayor Dyer but to the city of Orlando and its residents. Notwithstanding this, we're pleased for Mayor Dyer and his family that the charges have been dismissed," Frederick said in a statement.

He also thanked campaign workers who sacrificed their time and money to respond to "this false alarm."

Stay with WESH.com and WESH 2 News for updates.

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I dont know, I was caught up in the emotion...........i was typing before i was thinking, anybody, the slantinel, the governors office, the district that he is in. On another note: go to the CityofOrlando.net and they already have Dyers pic and bio back up. AWESOME

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I dont know, I was caught up in the emotion...........i was typing before i was thinking, anybody, the slantinel, the governors office, the district that he is in. On another note: go to the CityofOrlando.net and they already have Dyers pic and bio back up. AWESOME

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Why would you ask to have Brad King removed? The case was referred to him to avoid a conflict of interest by having the State's Attorney for Orange County investigating the claims. King definitely had cause to indict Dyer because he did technically break the law. Now, the state has chosen not to prosecute on the basis that the law is unclear/hasn't been interpreted by the FL Supreme Court or the Legislature. Get your facts straight before you fire off that someone should be fired. I don't think that Buddy should have been prosecuted and I am glad to see that this is over, but there is no basis for having him removed from office for this prosecution.

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Without getting in a pissing match, the reason i stated that, is that he proceeded in that direction with a law that is unclear and this is another reason why people are starting to think we have an out of control judiciary. It is up to him (the special prosecutor) to determine the merits of the case. I am a republican and believe we have to many laws on the books and that we should pull it out and start ripping pages out of it. Now i know it may be harsh to ask for his removal and we will probably let it slide this time. I am for law and order and believe mostly in the justice for the people but i feel that we need alot of judicial reform and less lawyers (the movie Devils Advocate comes to mind). We definitely need tort law reform and less government. Let me restate that.... WE NEED COMMON SENSE GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now i am not a lawyer, but lets indict people that ought to be indicted by clear and convincing evidence not by techinicalities. We have child molesters/killers, repeat offenders, rapist, murderers, thugs of all types that get reduced sentences and hit the streets because of jail overcrowding and we are going to tie up the judicial system on this bull%#%*. I just dont get it. I honestly dont mean any disrespect mikeyjd but there are alot of problems with the whole judicial system. You did call me out so i had to explain my reasoning. Sincerely, Marc

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Contact: Brie Turek (407) 246-3106

Cheryl Henry (407) 246-3582

ORLANDO MAYOR BUDDY DYER REINSTATED

Mayor to Address Citizens of Orlando

WHO: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

WHAT: Press Availability, Photo Opportunities

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 Beginning at 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Orlando City Hall; 400 S. Orange Avenue

ORLANDO, FL (April 20, 2005)

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Wow, I'm glad this chapter in Orlando history is now finally over. I still feel bad that Dyer and his family had to go through this (along with everyone else who was charged). It has got to be hard to come home to your wife and kids after you've been arrested and your picture is on the front page of the newspaper.

Forgive the rampant speculation, but does anyone else think the complaint filed against Crotty had anything to do with the prosecutor's decision to drop the charges? This would support the argument that the prosecution was politically motivated, and that the prosecutor decided to relent when he realized that a prominent politician from his own party might have to be charged as well. If this was the case, isn't ironic that Dyer may have been saved by Doug Guetzloe of all people (wasn't he behind the Crotty complaint because he was mad Crotty supported a potential tax increase?).

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I agree with firemick. Mainly, I'm glad the charges are dropped because I believe had the process gone through in its entirety, the cost, in monetary and non-monetary terms, would have just been destructive to the city and its progress. Would it have been catastrophic? No, obviously not. But in no way could it have helped. Did Dyer "break" the law... most likely. But then so did Mel Martinez, Glenda Hood, even Crotty apparently. You can't pick and choose who you want to crucify. You have to get them all. I don't claim an affiliation to either party, but tend to vote more Republican, but equal justice is equal justice. There's no circumventing that. I believe deep down that is the driving force behind the charges being dropped. Someone realized this is opening up a huge can of worms, and this issue needs to be addressed in some other, less destructive way.

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Interesting little timeline here:

- Law passed to address a single situation in S. Florida [hint: laws really shouldn't be passed to address a single isolated event or individual]

- Hood [R], Martinez [R], and Dyer [D] all "violate" said law as eventually interpreted by the prosecutor Brad King [R] appointed by Jeb Bush [R].

- While the statute of limitations on this "crime" was still in effect for all those listed above when King's investigation began, such that each could have then been indicted, King takes juuuust long enough with his "investigation" such that the statute of limitations expires for Hood [R] and Martinez [R] but not for Dyer [D]

- The conservative republican author of the law in question states publicly that these are not the conditions for prosecution that this law was designed for and that as written Dyer has not violated this law nor committed any crime.

- Brad King says that he knows better than the law's author what the purpose of said law is and how best to interpret it.

- Local gadfly/opportunistic whore/scum bag Doug Guetzloe [R] drags the prominent Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty [R] into this morass as payback for once losing a Statehouse race to Crotty.

- With the specter of a prominent republican [Crotty] possibly now on the verge of indictment, prosecutor King [R] decides to drop the charges, stating that sending a "message" is what is now most appropriate for the situation.

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tired. Florida politics. Ye-ha!

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Let me add one more chapter to the story:

Kuhn (D) suddenly announces Benchmark project is back on. This is due to the fact Dyer (D) is back in office and a windfall of tax breaks and city incentives are coming his way....

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Let me add one more chapter to the story:

Kuhn (D) suddenly announces Benchmark project is back on. This is due to the fact Dyer (D) is back in office and a windfall of tax breaks and city incentives are coming his way....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm, I have looked all over the Sentinel, the OBJ, and even Khun's own website and could find nothing about this.

Interesting if true.

While I am personally hesitant about big cash payouts on the part of municipalities in order to secure development I am less worried about abating property taxes that have yet to be collected because nothing yet exists. Seems like this is a pretty useful tool to help spur development in areas that need it in addition to the benefit of not requiring a large capital outlay.

Of course no one wants the city to give the whole store away, and in areas where development is already booming it makes less sense to give even tax abatement, but the fact remains that the development of traditional office space in the downtown core aint exactly booming right now.

I guess we will have to wait and see...or was this just a reactionary shot? ;)

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^Sorry to alarm you guys, I was being a little sarcastic. I never wanted to mislead anyone.... I truly believe however this will happen. Give it 6 months....I bet Benchmark was never shelved....Was simply just a political statement....

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That would be hilarious to see the Benchmark come back on the table, maybe it'll get a much needed redesign.

Lets all stop debating whether or not the events of Crotty getting indicted had anything to do with it and just declare that it did...its more than obvious who runs this corrupted government. I'm just glad Dyer's back, hopefully the energy for downtown that he projects into the media will return as well. Seems like that really needs a shot in the arm.

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