Steve Geller, the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate, said he has encouraged Gov. Charlie Crist to consider appointing Broward Circuit Judge Peter Weinstein as the county's interim sheriff.
Weinstein isn't a police officer, but he has qualifications that might pique Crist's interest. He worked in the same courtroom as Broward Sheriff's deputies for many years while serving on the criminal bench, and he is a former prosecutor and army captain. Weinstein also knows Crist personally since they served in the Legislature at the same time.
Weinstein, however, is a Democrat.
"All things being equal, (Crist) will likely go with a Republican,'' Geller said. "All things being equal, he is likely to go with a sworn officer.''
Weinstein hasn't officially applied for the sheriff's gig, but Geller said he expects him to within the next couple of days. Weinstein couldn't be reached for comment.
Sheriff Ken Jenne resigned earlier this month and pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. Crist appointed Maj. Al Lamberti, a Republican, as acting sheriff. Eight candidates have applied seeking an appointment, including Lamberti and another circuit judge, Elijah Williams.
-- AMY SHERMAN