Sheriff Rice caught discussing the Schiavo case with Judge Greer



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"Rice refused to investigate Michael Schiavo despite repeated pleas. Later, Rice was caught discussing the Schiavo case with Judge Greer and the Schindler felt that this created a bias and collusion and that Greer should have been removed." - James


"GOT ANY PROOF? i figure you don't...." -godless by choice



Sheriff  Everett S. Rice  caught discussing the Schiavo case with Judge Greer

Pat Anderson ” obtained affidavits from three former caregivers of the ward, when she resided in local nursing homes. Two of those affidavits- Carla Sauer Iyer and Heidi Law - contain statements indicating that the ward's husband/guardian, Michael Schiavo, may have made overt attempts on his wife;s life when she was residing in Palm Gardens nursing home before being placed in Hospice Woodside, where she now resides.

Over the Labor Day weekend just past, on Friday, August 2003,the ward was once again discharged from Morton Plant Hospital. Previously she had been discharged from Morton Plant on August 21 and re-admitted on August 24 in a septic condition with a high fever. Obviously, she was not well enough for discharge on August 21, but Mr. Schiavo ordered it. Then, on Monday, August 25, with the ward re-admitted to the hospital with sepsis - a description given by Mr. Schiavo's counsel, George Felos,ESQ. - Mr. Schiavo filed an emergency motion to discontinue treatment for her.

George Felos ‘ letter to Pat Anderson:


August 25,2003

 Dear Pat:

To follow up on the phone message left at your office last night: Terri still has fever of 102 degrees; she has a white blood cell count 0f 22,000, which is very high and indicates a bad infection; she is septic; she is receiving antibiotics intravenously; a PICC line is in place; an abdominal ultrasound is being performed; a pulmonary specialist will be examining her.

 My client believes that, in the light of the imminent withdrawal of artificial life support, continued medical treatment other than comfort care is inappropriate. Please advise me as soon as possible what your clients’ position is on further treatment of this infection.

 Also, as I mentioned last night Terri’s breathing was initially labored, but improved once her blood oxygen level was raised. Please be advised that pursuant to the DNR order that has been in effect for many years and for other medical reasons, my client will not authorize artificial ventilation or end tracheal intubation.

 Yours very truly,

George J. Felos

On Tuesday morning, August 26, 2003, at approximately 9 a.m., Anderson’s” office received a phone call from Judge Greer's judicial assistant, clearing a time for a telephone hearing foe 1 p.m. later that day to set a time to hear Mr. Schiavo's emergency motion. At about 9:30a.m., my office received a telefaxed letter, signed by Governor Jeb Bush, to Judge Greer requesting that Judge Greer appoint a guardian ad litem in the case.”

Judge Greer Voices Opinion on Bush’s Letter [From Anderson’s Affidavit, signed September 8, 2003]

“During the 1 p.m. telephonic hearing, Judge Greer ruled that the matter of discontinuing medical treatment for the ward was not appropriately presented to the court by motion but should be presented by formal petition, with the attendant formal notice. Thus, Judge Greer, in effect, rebuffed Mr. Schiavo's request not to treat the ward's medical condition, but Mr. Schiavo had made plain his intention that he wanted his wife to die right away. I know that reporters for the local media were present in Judge Greer's chambers during the telephonic hearing. Both the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times printed stories about the Governor's letter the following day, Wednesday, August 27, 2003. Both of those news stories attributed similar statements to Judge Greer that he did not make during the telephonic hearing. The local electronic media also carried stories about the case, as well. One of the local electronic outlet attributed a statement to Judge Greer was that he was "not inclined" to appoint a guardian ad litem for the ward, a matter of grave concern to me and my clients and a matter presently pending before Judge Greer. A copy of the telephonic hearing was previously attached to the Motion to Disqualify Judge and is incorporated herein.

8. Specifically, the only mention on record of the Governor's letter appears on Page 18 of the transcript:

I also, and I assume everybody know that, I received a faxed letter from the governor today. He is asking certain things. What I intend to do with that letter is file it as I have done with other correspondence. It will be in the Court file.

9. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Judge Greer said, "I respect the Governor's position. Beyond that, (his letter) is going in the court file." The Times also reported "Greer said higher courts have mapped out how the case nust proceed, and decisions by those courts don't call for further delay." The Times reported" Greer said he wasn't engaged in a 'popularity contest.' 'I don't go out on the street and survey how I'm supposed to rule.'" These statements were not made on the record, with counsel for the parties present.

10. The Tampa Tribune, similarly, reported that Judge Greer said " I read [the request fro Bush] because it came fro the governor and I respect his position. . .Beyond that, it is going in the file." The Tribune reported "But appeals courts have already looked at the guardian issue and decided that Greer fulfills that role, the judge said Tuesday. Also, Greer said, he is under specific orders from the 2nd District Court of Appeal to schedule the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube." These statements were not made on the record, with counsel for the parties present.

11. In reading the newspaper stories and watching and listening to the electronic reporting, because of the similarity of the statements attributed to Judge Greer in both the local newspapers and the local television and radio newscasts, it was apparent to me that Judge Greer must have made comments about the case after the conclusion of the hearing and while the reporters were still present. These comments were of more than an informational nature and indicated a predisposition to rule against the Schindlers' Petition for Immediate Therapy.

12. On Wednesday or Thursday, I learned from a local reporter that, in fact, the reporters stayed in Judge Greer's chambers after the conclusion of the telephonic hearing for some period of time, asking him questions and recording his responses. It is my firm conviction that Judge Greer, in effect, held an impromptu press conference about the merits of a case pending before him, without counsel for the parties being present.

13. I know foe a fact that Judge Greer on more than one occasion has spoken directly and privately to a local reporter about this case on the telephone. For example, in the summer of 2002, on the afternoon of July 10, after the conclusion of a lengthy hearing in the case during which medical testimony was received by the Court, Judge Greer told the reporter that certain testimony "made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end." The reporter repeated Judge Greer's comment to me, when he called me for a comment either that day or the next. I did not make an issue of these earlier comments at the time they occured, but Judge Greer's recent conduct greatly alarms me and my clients.

14. Meantime, with yet another discharge of the ward from the hospital at mid-day on Friday, August 29, 2003, it appeared to me that Mr. Schiavo was attempting an end-run around Judge Greer's order to continue treatment. I immediately began making preparations to file a federal complaint in the United States District Court in Tampa to get emergency relief over the Labor Day weekend.

15. In the early morning hours of Saturday, August 30, 2003, some twelve hours or so after her last discharge from Morton Plant Hospital, Hospice Woodside called an ambulance to take the ward back to Morton Plant Hospital. According to her brother, who had spent Friday night with the ward at Hospice, the ward had had an hour-long coughing and choking spell and her blood oxygen levels were low.

16. Later that morning. the ward was returned to Hospice Woodside on Saturday, August 30. At 10:30 a.m. that same day I filed a complaint and a motion for temporary restraining order with the United States District Court in Tampa, at that time unaware of the ward's precise whereabouts or condition. I still have no information about why the ward was not admitted as an in patient on Saturday, August 30 or what treatment, if any, was administered to her by Morton Plant Hospital as an out-patient.

17. On Sunday morning, August 31, 2003, still concerned about the ward's condition, I spoke with Everett Rice, Sheriff of Pinellas County, about the events described above and e-mailed him copies of the affidavits from the caregivers described in Paragraph 3 above. I asked him to take whatever action, as the county's chief law enforcement officer, he felt was appropriate under the circumstances.

18. During that conversation, which occurred about 8:45 a.m., Sheriff Rice told me that he had attended a ball game the night before with Judge Greer and that Judge Greer had told him that if Governor Jeb Bush were a lawyer, the letter sent to Judge Greer the preceding Tuesday would be an improper attempt at ex parte communication and would be reportable to the Bar. I concluded from this remark that Judge Greer was speaking about the case to others without counsel for the parties being present.

19. On Thursday, September 4, 2003, in conversation with Larry Crow, Esq. , co-counsel for Mr. and Mrs. Schindler on this case, I learned that Judge Greer had made virtually identical statement to a Deputy Attorney General in the Tampa office of the Florida Attorney General, namely, that were Governor Bush a lawyer, his letter to the judge would be a grievable offense under Florida Bar rules.

20. Mr. Crow filed a Motion to Disqualfy Judge with our respective affidavits concerning these matters about 4 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2003. Mr. Crow hand-delivered a courtesy copy of the motion and the affidavits to Judge Greer’s chambers.

21. About 6 p.m. or so I returned to my office from taking a short break outside the building. Sheriff Rice had called me, so I returned the call. When I spoke to him, he was very agitated about my affidavit that had just been filed. He impressed upon me that it was not Judge Greer

Who had made the comment about Governor Bush’s letter, it was he, himself, who had made it, and furthermore, the Sheriff stated that he had told me that Judge Greer did not discuss the case with him.

22. It is my belief that Judge Greer contacted Sheriff Rice on Friday afternoon, on September 5, 2003, after he had read my affidavit in support of the motion for hid disqualification and either asked or instructed Sheriff Rice to call me immediately to get me to withdraw my affidavit. There is no other plausible way that Sheriff Rice could have known about the motion and affidavit. I certainly did not tell him of the affidavit or motion ahead of time and did not furnish either to him.

23. That conclusion that Judge greer had alerted Sheriff Rice was buttressed when I spoke with Larry Crow later on in the evening on Friday, September 5, 2003. His affidavit supporting the motion for disqualification recounted a conversation he had had with the Deputy Attorney General John Carassas in Tampa. Mr. Crow told me that over the course of a few hours during Friday evening, Mr. Carassas left numerous messages on Mr. Crow’s cell phone and home phone. My recollection is that Mr. Crow told me there were eleven messages on his cell phone that evening, only one not from Mr. Carassas.

24. Furthermore, this morning Monday, September 8, 2003, I spoke with Representative Don Davis, a member of the Florida House from Jacksonville, who called me. He said he, too, has spoken to Mr. Carassas about the Terri Schiavo case. Among other things Mr. Davis told me is that Mr. Carassas had spoken with the judge about the case and that the Attorney- General’s Office was “monitoring” the matter.

25. When I arrived in my office this morning, I had received a faxed letter from Sheriff Everett Rice, bearing today’s date. A copy of this letter is attached hereto and incorporated herein. This letter begins by reference to an “affidavit which you faxed to me on September 5, 2003.” I did not fax an affidavit to Sheriff Rice on September 5, 2003. If he received a faxed copy of an affidavit on September 5, 2003, it did not come from my office. It is my belief, however, that Judge Greer or someone at his direction may have faxed my affidavit to Sheriff Rice on Friday afternoon, and it is that fax that prompted the Sheriff’s call to me.

26. Notwithstanding Sheriff Rice’s telephone call to me on Friday, September 5, 2003, and his letter to me of September 8, 2003, my memory of the conversation I had with the Sheriff is as stated in Paragraph 15, above. I have no recollection of Sheriff Rice telling me that Judge Greer had not discussed the case with him. When I had originally spoken with Sheriff Rice early on Sunday morning, August 31, 2003, he had just awakened. Our apparently differing memories of that conversation may be attributed to that fact.

27. During the conversation with Sheriff Rice on Friday afternoon, September 5, 2003, he told me that he and Judge Greer were friends and that I was going to get him in trouble with either the Judge or the Governor. I can appreciate the Sheriff’s position and bear no ill will toward him, of course, but this matter is too important to ignore.

28. It is my firm conviction that, upon receiving the Motion to Disqualify Judge and the supporting affidavits late on Friday afternoon, Judge Greer contacted both Sheriff Rice and Deputy Attorney General John Carassas, in an attempt to attack the factual basis of the motion and affidavits. Such an attempt is way beyond the bounds of the judicial function and demonstrates vividly my belief that Judge Greer has become an advocate in this case. Such actions are much more extreme than debating the accuracy of fact allegations in this type of motion in open court, which the Canons of Judical Conduct forbid. It is my

belief that Judge Greer is no longer possessed of the cold, impartial neutrality that the Canons require of any judge. It is my belief that Judge Greer has enter the arena. It is my further belief that Judge Greer’s actions create the appearance of impropriety.

29. Inasmuch as the Court’s failure to appoint an independent guardian for the ward is of great and immediate concern to me and my clients and the subject of the pending motion before Judge Greer, I fear that Judge Greer has pre judged this issue, as indicated by his statements to the reporters, to the Sheriff, and to the Deputy Attorney General. I further that Judge Greer is repeatedly speaking about this case to others, out of the presence of counsel for the parties.

30. Mr. Crow and I are bringing the present motion in good faith and not for any purpose of delay or any other improper purpose. Mr. Crow and I tried to avoid filing these motions by requesting an administrative reassignment of the case, but those efforts were not successful.”




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