Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Bar plans to file complaint against Tampa judicial candidate

Private defense lawyer Lanell Williams-Yulee of Tampa is running for county judge. She had to change some wording in her campaign information on her website because it violated attorney conduct rules.

www.vote4yulee.com

Private defense lawyer Lanell Williams-Yulee of Tampa is running for county judge. She had to change some wording in her campaign information on her website because it violated attorney conduct rules.

TAMPA — The Florida Bar will file a formal complaint with the state Supreme Court against a judicial candidate accused of violating attorney conduct rules with her campaign tactics.

Lanell Williams-Yulee, a private defense lawyer, is challenging Hillsborough County Judge Dick Greco Jr. in her first run for office.

In March, a bar grievance committee found probable cause that Williams-Yulee violated five rules during her campaign.

The violations stemmed from a pair of missteps brought to light by the St. Petersburg Times.

In the first instance, Williams-Yulee signed a letter in which she appeared to personally solicit campaign contributions, something judicial candidates are not allowed to do. The letter appeared on her website.

Later, her campaign used the phrase "judge elect" to describe the candidate. That term, however, refers to candidates who have already been elected and are waiting to take office.

In written responses to the allegations, Williams-Yulee's attorneys said she took responsibility for the mistakes and addressed them quickly after a reporter brought them to her attention.

She instructed her campaign manager to rewrite the letter, and she closed down her original website. She also had the term "judge elect" removed from her revised website.

"Mrs. Yulee never had any intention whatsoever to approach the line of even the appearance of impropriety," wrote attorney Ernest J. Myers, who is based in Orlando.

Myers blamed the early oversights partly on Williams-Yulee's frequent travels to Pensacola to care for her mother and sister, who fell ill after she declared her candidacy. He said she did not review her campaign materials as closely as she should have.

In another letter, attorney Monica Strickland asked that the totality of circumstances be considered. She noted that Williams-Yulee was a first-time candidate, married with three children and busy representing a student in the high-profile Walker Middle School sex case.

"With all the different hats that Ms. Williams-Yulee wears, she is certainly subject to inadvertence during the course of her campaign," Strickland wrote.

Those explanations failed to dissuade the grievance committee from finding probable cause.

On Thursday, Myers stressed that the committee's decision is not a finding of guilt. That will be determined by the judge appointed to hear the case.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether disciplinary action is warranted.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3337.

Florida Bar plans to file complaint against Tampa judicial candidate 07/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  4. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.
  5. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)

    Military

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921