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Former miami criminal court judge faces new charges

November 03, 2009

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Former Miami Circuit Judge Phillip Davis is once again facing allegations in the courthouse where he used to preside over criminal cases. Davis now faces Miami money laundering and grand theft charges. The case is being prosecuted by the Broward County State Attorney's Office. Reports fail to mention which Miami criminal lawyer is representing Davis in his new case. This not the first time Davis has faced criminal charges.

Sixteen years ago, Davis was indicted in federal court on bribery and extortion charges. The allegations stemmed from Operation Court Broom which was initiated as a result of the massive corruption which was occurring on the bench in Miami in the late 1980's. Davis was allegedly taped recorded by the FBI arranging to receive a $20,000 payoff from then Miami criminal attorney, Ray Takiff to fix the outcome of a criminal case. Takiff, at the time of the conversation was an informant for the federal government.

Davis testified in his federal trial and explained to the jury that he was suffering from a cocaine addiction, and in fact, admitted to snorting the illegal substance in his courtroom chambers. He admitted that he usually carried cocaine on his person and that he addiction led to his poor judgement. As a result of his heart-felt apology, the federal jurors acquitted him of the bribery and extortion charges.

After leaving the bench, David assisted in the foundation of the Miami-Dade Resident College in the late 1990's. The program was created to assist less fortunate citizens with parenting, life and vocation skills. According to investigators, Davis and a co-worker submitted fraudulent invoices to receive extra grant money. He created a sham corporation to pay non-existent independent contractors and kept the proceeds for himself. David was arrested in 2005 for stealing money slated for the college. He was charged with money laundering and for the theft of over $80,000.

Davis took the stand and told jurors that the invoices were not fraudulent and that he did not steal money intended to help the poor which was supplied the county and the state. Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle decided to opt out of the case to avoid a conflict. As a result, the Broward County State Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.

Ex-Miami-Dade Judge Acquitted of Bribery Faces New Charges, The Miami Herald, November 3, 2009.
Categories: Public Corruption
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