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Police say lawyer tried bribe to set up killing

Published Sep. 3, 2005

An attorney attempted to bribe a Miami Beach police detective for the name of a confidential informer so his client could have the person killed, officials said.

Steven Pietro, 28, was charged with four felony counts after his arrest Wednesday.

In 2001, Pietro represented Michael Gotti, who was awaiting trial on armed trafficking charges, according to court documents.

Pietro allegedly told Gotti he could obtain the name of a crucial witness in exchange for $250,000 and the promise that the informer's body would never be found.

Pietro, a former Miami-Dade public defender, admitted to FBI agents that he tried to obtain the informer's name in exchange for money, officials said.

"This is a repulsive act of betrayal by a renegade member of the legal profession," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said.

The informer was never identified or harmed, officials said.

Ex-deputy going to prison

over fake medical exams

BARTOW _ Former Polk County sheriff's Deputy Scott Lawson was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday on charges resulting from his tricking fellow employees and other men into letting him give them "medical" exams.

Prosecutors agreed to let Lawson, 34, plead guilty to one count of sexual battery and six counts of practicing medicine without a license. But investigators originally charged him with more than 70 felony counts involving about a dozen victims.

Lawson, who worked at the Sheriff's Office for 11 years before resigning in June, convinced two fellow deputies and another man that he was a University of South Florida medical student required to recruit "medical models" as part of qualifying to become a physician's assistant. He convinced other men that he could give them medical exams that would help them get jobs. He paid the men $40 an hour to submit to the "exams," records said.

_ Wire and Ledger reports