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.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 South Florida Reporter