Home ZZZ Broward County Kraft Verdict: Former Broward School Bd Member’s Probation Is A Fair Sentence

Kraft Verdict: Former Broward School Bd Member’s Probation Is A Fair Sentence

Stephanie Kraft (BSO)
Stephanie Kraft (BSO)
Stephanie Kraft (BSO)

By Buddy Nevins, BrowardBeat.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, Dec 20, 2014 – Defense lawyers called him Broward’s hanging judge behind his back, but on Friday Matthew Destry put his rope away.

Circuit Judge Destry gave former School Board member Stephanie Kraft five years probation.

He also withheld adjudication, meaning she won’t be a convicted felon and has a good chance of keeping her ability to practice law.

Prosecutor Catherine Maus asked for at least 18 months in jail.

So much for the image of Destry as a mean, unthinking judge who always does the prosecution’s bidding.

But the light sentence triggered a response from Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office represents poor defendants.

“I’m happy for Stephanie, but this sentence points out that there are two standards of justice in Broward County.  Rich, white and powerful get probation, while my clients get sent to jail,” Finkelstein said.

Among those attending the hearings to support Kraft was state Sen. Jeremy Ring, the Chair of the Broward Legislative Delegation; political fund raiser Aleida “Ali” Waldman and community activist Mary Fertig, two women who helped Kraft get elected; Tom Powers, a former Coral Springs commissioner and several school system personnel.  

Destry noted that only once before had he seen such an outpouring of support for a defendant.

In the Kraft case, prosecutor Maus and her boss State Attorney Mike Satz are clearly the losers. Also proven wrong are elements of the hyperventilating media who had already convicted Kraft.


An experienced TV News manager, Mark Young is highly regarded as one of the most well respected and trusted media leaders in Florida. In over 40 years in the broadcast industry, Mark has managed news operations in small and large markets throughout the United States. As Broward Bureau Manager for CBS4 News, Mark was responsible for all news developments throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Mark now oversees the daily publication of two online news sites “South Florida Reporter” and “Southwest Florida Reporter.”