This isn’t a secret, but if you have enough money, you can play some interesting tricks on our criminal justice system. Recently, developer Glenn Straub added former Palm Beach County judge Jeffery Colbath to his defense team triggering the recusal of seven Palm Beach judges and a change of venue. Straub’s criminal case will now be heard in Broward County.
On television shows and in movies, you often see fictional infamous criminals in high-profile cases attempting to move their case out of their hometowns where their story is already well-known. Their lawyer argues that the publicity surrounding their trial has unfairly biased jurors against their client and that a change of venue could produce a less partial jury.
However, what you tend not to see is a client hiring an attorney that they know has several connections to the local judiciary and would create a conflict of interest in the entire county.
Glenn Straub is charged with three felonies. Those are grand theft of an amount under $100,000, filing a fraudulent lien, and filing false documents. These all stem from a bitter fallout with a former ex-girlfriend.
After the addition of Jeffrey Colbath to his defense team, presiding judge Deliah Weiss recused herself. Colbath was the chief judge of the same circuit. The case was assigned to another judge who also recused themselves. Five more judges would recuse themselves without explanation.
This appears to be a ploy by the defense to throw a wrench into the prosecution’s case.
Initially, PBSO asked to transfer the case because they believed that someone had leaked their investigation to him. The case was assigned to Broward County assistant state’s attorney Christina Strandall. She recused herself after Straub hired an attorney whose law firm employs her husband. Some said that Straub could later be heard bragging about the move. His attorney has denied claims that Straub is attempting to disrupt the case by conflicting judges out of the proceedings.
Analyzing the Defense
Straub’s former girlfriend, Jessica Nicodemo, claimed that Straub gifted her $77,000 worth of improvements on her home. After Nicodemo attempted to break off the relationship, Straub said the gift was not a gift, but a loan. He then placed a lien on her property to recover the money he spent. Straub’s company has filed a civil lawsuit against Nicodemo to recover the money. Nicodemo claims the liens were fraudulent and that Straub lied about the details providing false information to authorities to file the lien.
Straub’s attorneys believe this is a matter best served by the civil courts and not the criminal courts. They also claimed that they would prefer West Palm Beach as a venue over Broward County since that is where the majority of Straub’s peers are.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been accused of a serious crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your situation and its possible remedies.