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Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle to step aside from Hialeah absentee-ballot investigation

Hours after her office arrested Deisy Cabrera, a suspected Hialeah absentee-ballot broker Thursday morning, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle announced she will recuse herself from any further involvement in the case.

Fernández Rundle, who is seeking reelection, said she wants to avoid a potential conflict of interest because an unnamed person may be connected to her campaign and to Cabrera.

With the state attorney stepping aside, it will fall to Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case going forward. Scott spokesman Brian Burgess said the governor will review Fernández Rundle's request on Friday and make a decision.

Fernández Rundle had come under pressure from her Democratic primary opponent, defense attorney Rod Vereen, for remaining on the case because her longtime campaign consultant, Al Lorenzo, also works on Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez's reelection bid. Gimenez has denied any connection to Cabrera, the ballot broker, but she is said to support him.

Read Fernández Rundle's statement after the jump.

“Now that the arrest of Deisy Penton De Cabrera has been accomplished and she is facing a felony and two misdemeanor charges related to absentee ballot fraud, I have today asked the Governor’s office for an Executive Assignment of this case to another prosecutor’s office. 

Unsubstantiated allegations have recently been brought to my attention that a person who has been assisting in my campaign was alleged to have been seen in the company of this defendant. I am therefore taking this action to avoid even the possibility that my pending election will cause any distraction to the prosecution of this case. I am also doing this with the intent of toning down the rhetoric so that this case can progress in a normal and expeditious manner for the benefit of our community. 

Any and all other pending voter fraud investigations and resulting prosecutions will continue to be handled by my office.

As I have previously stated, when it reconvenes, I will be asking the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury to take on the entire issue of absentee ballots and to look closely into the practices and procedures associated with them.”

Comments

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Fernando

This woman,Katherine Fernandez, needs lo leave office ASAP. Enough is enough. Twenty years as state attorney are far to many years. Scandal after scandal. This august we will have the chance to end this nightmare. Rod Vereen is the only option for us.

whasup

Apparently, the Dade County folks are trying to displace the Broward County folks for the most corrupt part of Florida's banana republic.

AP Jury

When is the corruption going to end in the State Attorney's Office? Will somebody look into the alcohol consumption habits of this woman? The connection to Puerto Rican cash flowing into her last two campaigns? The appointments of prosecutors who are relatives of her buddies? Her office looks like a Cuban Ministry with perks,promotions and expenses going to friends and friends of friends? She claims to be Cuban around election time every 4 years, makes fun of blacks within her Cuban circle of friends referring to Liberty City and Overtown as "Africa". Then in Puerto Rico she makes fun of the Miami Cubans within her circle of friends where she wants to be known as "Ms Rundle" the "anglo". Enough with hypocrisy...

Fernando

She hates cubans cause her father abandoned her mom for a cubana. Her son is a well known drug dealer in the schools of Miami-Dade ( known as the " untochable") and thats why she does NOTHING against drugs in our schools. This august she must GO.

lucy

Not only in Hialeah sold the votes. Find out why in a little business there sw of absentee ballots, which are in the poorest areas and ignorant sold without thinking they are selling our future.

Alfred

This woman needs to RESIGN! Katherine Fernandez if you still have a minimun of decency you should resign TODAY!!

Maria

this woman, the fernandez rundle, helped in the cover up of the family court judge, maxine cohen lando, abuse and violation to the legal rights and privileges of a minor, by approving and ordering an illegal divorce contract presented in court.

Maria Alberro Jimenez

Katherine Rundle cooperated in closing a criminal investigation against employees of the City of Coral Gables including its then city manager David Brown, who lied, forced an employee to lie, and tried to back-date invoices for alcohol he used to buy.

This woman is corrupt. She ought to be a politician, and not our city's top dog law enforcement director.

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