By Dr. Juan P. Gray
“The Sixth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution entitle U. S. Citizens to adequate legal representation. This mean all citizens have a right to a competent lawyer”. These were the two sentences suspended City Council Woman Katrina Brown used to tell her story of poor and conflicted legal representation to the Florida Bar.
Council Woman Brown told the Florida Bar -“I am facing 37 counts for white collar crimes. Attorney Darcy Galnor admitted to me in person that she does not have any experience defending white collar crime”. Brown`s freedom was in the hands of this young lawyer who was assigned by a U. S. Magistrate. “ Galnor asked a judge’s permission last month to withdraw as Brown`s court – appointed attorney, citing irreconcilable differences and a rule involving “compelling ethical conditions” according to Steve Patterson in the Florida Times-Union.
Brown explained in clear details what the irreconcilable differences from her perspective. The Council Woman told the Times Union “I am not looking for no plea deal. I want to go to trial.” Katrina indicated in her Florida Bar Complaint her attorney was strongly encouraging her to take a plea deal on federal fraud charges and to help state prosecutors in investigating a City Council Sunshine Law Violation.
During a meeting in September she was told by Galnor, “there were new developments with my case… Attorney Galnor stated the attorney from the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office handling the Sunshine Law Investigation placed a call to Assistant U. S. Attorney Tysen Duva seeking a plea deal, which involve you pleading guilty to two federal counts and the Assistant U. S. Attorney recommending probation and you assisting the State Attorney’s Office with their Sunshine Law Investigation”, stated in her Bar Complaint.
For clarity of what the State Attorney’s Office wanted from her, the Council Woman asked Galnor, “Were the targets on the investigation city council members Dennis Garret and Anna Brosche”? “Her answer to me was yes”. “Attorney Galnor also stated to me if this get out it will be a mess”, according to Brown`s bar Complaint.
Nate Monroe in his January 9, 2019 Times Union article entitled “Time for State Attorney Melissa Nelson to set record straight”, raised some profound and questionable Abuse of Office issues. Monroe stated “Brosche – whose own successful but divisive run for council president left hard feelings in its wake – and Dennis are Mayor Lenny Curry’s most vocal antagonists in city government. Brosche also looks like she`s gearing up to announce a run against Curry, who is seeking re-election”. Brosche became a candidate for the election for Mayor January 11, 2019.
Monroe also wrote this about the State Attorneys Abuse of Office – “First, if Brosche’s actions on council are under scrutiny by Nelson’s office, it makes sense for everyone to know sooner rather than later what is going on now…Brown’s claims in her bar complaint, plus a lot of speculation – sheds an unflattering light on Brosche and Dennis. Nate highlighted another indicting point about Abuse of Office for Curry and Nelson when he wrote, “Nelson herself has relationships that are worth addressing. One consultant Nelson paid to run her campaign is now Curry’s chief of staff. A second consultant she paid is the head of Curry’s political operation”.
During a meeting in October, Galnor told Brown “if I were you, I would take this plea deal”. In that same month, State Attorney Nelson recommended Attorney Galnor to the Jacksonville Ethics Commission. November 13, 2019 the City Council confirmed Galnor’s appointment to that commission. Galnor told Brown in December “she was not going to allow me nor any other client to stop the advancement of her career”. January 4, 2019 U. S. Magistrate James Klindt removed Galnor from Katrina Brown’s Federal Case and assigned her another attorney. Katrina Brown legal battle continues today.
Council Persons Katrina Brown and Reginald Brown find themselves in a political and legal situation which is clouded by profound and questionable Abuse of Office issues. The Abuse of Office involve Mayor Lenny Curry, State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Brian Hughes and a personal relationship with Tim Baker.
— Dr. Juan P. Gray, Very Concerned Citizen
This article originally appeared in The Florida Star.