- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has challenged the motives of prosecutors in Palm Beach County who released confidential plea negotiations in the Rush Limbaugh investigation, saying the prosecutors misrepresented advice received in order to make the information public.

Assistant Attorney General Patricia R. Gleason, in a letter dated Wednesday, questioned the motives of prosecutor Kenneth Selvig when he consulted her about what records could be released to the public, but did not advise her that he was talking about the Limbaugh case.

“It seems to me that the purpose in contacting me about this issue may not have been to obtain impartial advice on an open government issue, but rather, to use part of our conversation to justify your office’s decision that the documents should be released,” Mrs. Gleason wrote.

The Florida Bar Association this week also questioned the motives of Palm Beach County prosecutors, saying it had been asked for advice in the release of documents and felt it had been misused in order to make the Limbaugh information public.

“I don’t think the bar or any organization provides services as a straw man to hide behind,” Bar President Miles A. McGrane III said in a statement. “In our opinion, misstatements were made about our role.”

Palm Beach County Prosecutor Barry Krischer had cited the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Bar Association in releasing the Limbaugh documents, noting that his office had consulted with public records specialists from both offices.

The released documents included letters exchanged between prosecutors and Mr. Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black, in which attorneys on both sides discussed a plea agreement in exchange for dropping the investigation.

Mr. Limbaugh has not been arrested or formally charged in the acquisition of prescription painkillers.

Mr. Black has called for an investigation of Mr. Krischer, calling the release of the information “improper” and “a grave injustice to my client.”

“But even more grave is the revelation that a memo initialed by Mr. Krischer himself tried to mislead the public about the positions and policies of some of the state’s most senior legal officials,” he said.

The released letters showed that prosecutors were opposed to an offer by Mr. Black that his client enter a drug intervention program rather than face criminal charges. Palm Beach County prosecutors wanted Mr. Limbaugh to plead guilty to a felony, serve three years’ probation, enroll in a drug treatment program and undergo random drug testing.

The Landmark Legal Foundation, a Virginia-based public interest law firm, also has challenged the activities of Palm Beach County prosecutors in the Limbaugh case. On Wednesday, the firm filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Krischer with the Florida Bar for what it described as “creating a false record to justify the release of confidential attorney communications.”

Landmark President Mark Levin has called for an independent investigation into how the prosecutors justified the release of a letter from Mr. Limbaugh’s attorney regarding a plea bargain.


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