On Monday, the 51-year-old administrator surrendered in federal court in Miami on a charge of using his office to pocket thousands of dollars in bribes while shaking down local businesses seeking licenses in one of Florida’s poorest cities.
Appearing in handcuffs and leg braces, the once-popular city manager who resigned from his job last week pleaded not guilty, was granted a $50,000 bond and was released in the afternoon.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Arrest vs. surrender
It's a dirty little (not-so)secret in our system that cooperators are treated very differently than those who decide to fight. Sometimes those discrepancies are justified, but many times they are not. For example, if you cooperate and agree to plead guilty before charges are filed, you are allowed to surrender and immediately bond out. But heaven-forbid that you want to fight the upcoming charges, you almost will certainly be arrested (at 6am in front of your family) and often-times, there will be a fight over bond. There is simply no reason for this other than to punish people who want to fight. Unless a defendant presents a real danger or risk of flight, he should be permitted to surrender just like the cooperator.
The Opa-Locka case is a good example. The cooperator was (rightfully) permitted to surrender. From the Herald:
According to the Miami Herald, a "sweeping" indictment is coming out soon. Will those defendants be given the same courtesy? Why shouldn't those individuals also be permitted to surrender and post bond as well? Is it a good use of resources to send the SWAT team in full riot gear to a white-collar defendant's home at 6am to arrest a defendant in front of his kids?