Elections

Miami judicial candidate claims to be a former prosecutor. Not quite.

EL NUEVO HERALD

In her many newspaper and campaign ads, Miami-Dade judicial candidate Marcia del Rey touts herself as a former domestic-crimes prosecutor.

But personnel records show that del Rey was never actually sworn in as an assistant state attorney because she was not yet admitted to the Florida Bar. In fact, she was fired from her job as a “legal trainee” after she stopped showing up to work in 2005, according to personnel records.

In all, del Rey was employed at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for a little more than one month, most of that time which would have been spent in training outside the courtroom.

Her ads have spurred a complaint to the Florida Bar by attorney Frank Hernandez, himself a former prosecutor who has donated to the campaign of her opponent, incumbent Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jason Bloch.

“Everyone who works as an assistant state attorney knows the hard work you put in.,” Hernandez said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “She has no idea what that’s like. It’s unfair to anyone who is a current prosecutor or a former prosecutor.”

The Florida Bar acknowledged it is reviewing the claim.

Her lawyer, Robert Fernandez, insists that del Rey was not fired, but resigned to deal with “personal family issues.” And he insists that she had all the duties of a prosecutor and said “there is no merit to the Bar complaint.”

“During the time Ms. Del Rey was employed as an Assistant State Attorney, she was authorized by the State Attorney’s Office to negotiate plea agreements, takes cases to trial and do all the duties of an Assistant State Attorney under the guidance of her division supervisor,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Miami Herald.

Records show that del Rey did submit a resignation letter, but only after the state processed her as having been fired. In the letter, del Rey wrote that her dream was to be a prosecutor but that the “schedule that it requires is not feasible for me personally.”

“Had I been informed by the state of the fact that being an assistant state attorney required working every evening until 11 p.m. and every weekend, all day long Saturday and Sunday, I would not have committed to the position,” she wrote.

Del Rey is a private attorney whose family owns a series of Miami-Dade motels, some of them sex-themed. She referred requests for comment to her lawyer.

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