New scandal shows the 'Taj Mahal' must be stopped

The only possible response to the newest scandalous revelations about that "Taj Mahal" courthouse in Tallahassee …

Is to block the 1st District Court of Appeal from occupying that corrupt, stinking, ill-gotten $48 million palace that it arranged for itself.

Lock the door. Kick them out. Make them move.

Right now.

I don't care how the Florida Supreme Court, the governor, the Cabinet and the Legislature do it.

But the 1st District Court of Appeal and Corruption cannot be allowed to take this building.

It would be like giving Al Capone a medal.

What does it take for the Supreme Court to speak out?

What does it take for the oh-so-righteous, "honor"-of-our-profession Florida Bar to speak out?

What does it take for every judge, every other appeals court in Florida?

Will they all stay silent?

Is it all right with them all, then, that an appeals court of the state of Florida — an appeals court of the state of Florida — would issue favorable rulings to the powerful St. Joe Co., yet its judges also would "work" their "contacts" at St. Joe to help clear the way for their new palace?

Is it all right that an appeals court of the state of Florida would name "heroes" among the members of the Legislature — and then allow those "heroes" to practice as lawyers in disputed cases in front of that same court?

Is it all right with them that the audit of this $425-a-square-foot monstrosity found violations of the law and of every manner of procedure and fiscal control, and that the appeals court's own chief judge had wrongly seized control of the project?

Is it all right with them, as we knew even before the latest articles from my colleague Lucy Morgan, that appeals judges were roaming the halls of the Capitol, grimy-handed, lobbying and making secret deals for their own benefit?

The mahogany? The granite? The 60-inch flat screens?

The contractor, ferrying appeals judges around the country on free junkets? Is that to be rewarded, too?

Good God! And that is not taking his name in vain — it is an appeal for divine justice.

The Florida Supreme Court is the sole and, you know, supreme power over the Florida judiciary. Let it act now. Let it issue an extraordinary order blocking the 1st DCA from these ill-gotten gains pending a full investigation.

The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, citing these new revelations, should call an emergency session of the Legislature — right now.

The president of the Florida Senate, Jeff Atwater, wants to be Florida's new chief financial officer. Well, he should step away from his little blackboard and stop this outrage — right now — or else he should not be elected to squat.

The sitting chief financial officer is Alex Sink. She wants to be governor. She gets some credit for pushing the audit, but she, too, says Her Hands Are Tied. She should take the money back. She should shut it down. Let them sue her.

You know those chain e-mails that say, "Forward this to everyone you know"?

Maybe this should be one. Every Floridian should send this to every other Floridian. Every Floridian needs to know what has happened, and who is allowing it to happen still.

If the 1st District Court of Appeal and Corruption takes occupancy of that building, then the honor, integrity and credibility of Florida's judicial system are forfeit.

New scandal shows the 'Taj Mahal' must be stopped 10/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 7:34pm]

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