Thursday, May 17, 2007

Prosecutor fired after pot arrest - 05/17/2007 -

Prosecutor fired after pot arrest - 05/17/2007 - STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE Prosecutor fired after pot arrest A Miami-Dade prosecutor was fired after being charged with buying marijuana from a street dealer in Coconut Grove. BY DAVID OVALLE function PopupPic(sPicURLx, sHeight, sWidth) { var sPicURL = "/460/v-morephotos/story/109355.html"; y=Math.floor((screen.availHeight-sHeight)/2); x=Math.floor((screen.width-sWidth)/2);,"slideshow","width="+sWidth+",height="+sHeight+",top="+y+",left="+x+",scrollbars=auto,resizable=yes").focus(); } COURTESY OF MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS Utpal Dighe Blog Crime Scene Prosecutor Utpal Dighe was fired Wednesday, hours after police say he bought marijuana from a dealer in Coconut Grove. The Miami-Dade state attorney's office has asked the governor's office to appoint a special prosecutor to handle his case, which is routinely done to avoid any conflict of interest. Dighe was charged with one count of third-degree felony purchase of cannabis and one misdemeanor count of cannabis possession. ''As a prosecutor, one is sworn to uphold our criminal laws, not violate them. I cannot tolerate one of my prosecutors behaving as if their oath of office required no personal commitment to the law,'' State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said in a statement. Dighe was booked into Miami-Dade County Jail Wednesday morning and has since posted $6,000 bond. He could not be reached for comment. According to a Miami police arrest report, Dighe pulled up in his black Acura to a dealer on Grand Avenue Tuesday night. Detective Willie B. Smith, of the Crime Suppression Team, says he spotted Dighe buying the drugs. His car was pulled over. According to the police report, he told an officer ``Please, just take it. Let me go. I can't go to jail. . . . I will lose my job.'' Dighe joined the state attorney's office in 2004. In November 2006, he was reprimanded after he approved an 18-month plea bargain for a career criminal accused of stealing a police officer's gun. Dighe offered the plea without consulting police or his supervisors, drawing the ire of the Police Benevolent Association, Miami-Dade's police union. Dighe is the third prosecutor to be arrested during the past 13 months. In March 2006, Ramon Sarmiento was arrested after an off-duty police officer working at the nightclub Space said he found seven Ecstasy pills in the man's pocket. He resigned from the state attorney's office; the charges were later dropped. In January, veteran prosecutor George Cholakis was arrested after police say he drove drunk and hit a scooter ridden by two people, seriously injuring them. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is pending

No comments: