Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

OJ Simpson's lawyer blasts Bondi as 'stupid,' says Simpson definitely coming to Florida

OJ Simpson's lawyer Malcolm Lavergne is outraged with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, blasting her as "possibly the stupidest person on the planet."

Bondi's office released a letter Friday urging the Florida Department of Corrections to deny Simpson a transfer to serve parole in Florida now that he has been released from prison on kidnapping and armed robbery charges. She called Simpson a "scofflaw" whose notoriety would be a drain on law enforcement.

"What a complete stupid b----. F--- her," Lavergne said in an incensed interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Monday. "She has zero standing to even talk about Mr. Simpson's case. She's the attorney general, she has nothing to do with it. It's virtually a foregone conclusion that Simpson will be moving to Florida when he chooses and once Nevada approves it. That's handled by the Nevada Division of Parole and Florida department of corrections, not the attorney general."

BONDI: Florida doesn't want OJ Simpson

Lavergne said Simpson plans to live in a private location in Nevada for probably the next few months before requesting transfer to Florida.

He said he had discussed Bondi's letter with Simpson by phone just a few minutes before the Times contacted him.

"He's very, very, disturbed by it," Lavergne said. "To him as a 70-year-old black male in America, he lived through a time when white people did get to tell black people where they could live. It reminds (Simpson) of when he first moved to lily-white Bel Air, and the people there tried to keep him out and make his life miserable."

Lavergne argued Simpson has a right to move to Florida under the rules of the Interstate Compact, which says states must automatically accept transfers if certain criteria are met, such as the offender being a resident of the receiving state, having family in that state and having means to support themselves.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Simpson's kids put down roots in St. Petersburg

Lavergne noted that Simpson's grown children live in Tampa Bay and that Simpson was a Florida resident at the time of his Nevada arrest.

Lavergne said Bondi was "obviously trying to gain political favor" by weighing in, despite her not controlling the Florida Department of Corrections. Bondi's office denied that accusation.

"This is about a career prosecutor who has handled parole hearings in Florida for 20 years and a violent criminal trying to move to our state," Bondi spokeswoman Whitney Ray said via email. "As chief legal officer it is the Attorney General's duty to protect the citizens of Florida ... The Attorney General remains in constant contact with FDC regarding the matter. "

Lavergne called it "unprecedented" for an attorney general to single out an offender seeking transfer.

"He has zero circumstances that would prevent his transfer. Florida has a million felons running around. Is he the only parolee in Florida?" Lavergne said. "He has good reason to come there. It's not like he's going to Iowa or some state where he has no connection."

John M. Stokes, a criminal defense lawyer in Florida who is not involved in the case, said parolee transfers are routine business and almost always get approved unless the offender has an extensive criminal record, or their crime involved extreme violence.

"I hate to use the term rubber stamp, but this is typically not a big deal," Stokes said.

In the letter addressed to Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie L. Jones, Bondi wrote, "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," referring to the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in 1994. Simpson, a former NFL star and actor, was acquitted of the murders, but was later found liable in a civil suit. "The specter of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal."

Bondi did acknowledge Sunday that Florida may have no choice but to accept Simpson. She says authorities would carefully vet the request and his prison records. Corrections officials would have 45 days, though Bondi said a decision likely would come much sooner.

Bondi says potential sticking points include whether Simpson completed required alcohol counseling.

In her letter, Bondi said that if Simpson does come to Florida he should be forced to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his wherabouts, even though that was not among the conditions of his parole decided on by Nevada.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

 
Comments
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 8 hours ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 8 hours ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Updated: 9 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Published: 02/24/18