Casey Anthony: Jose Baez being investigated by The Florida Bar for Casey Anthony probation issue
Jose Baez has a history of complaints with the Bar since taking Casey Anthony’s case.
The Florida Bar told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday it is investigating defense attorney Jose Baez again, the latest probe related to Casey Anthony‘s probation issue.
Earlier this month, Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry heard arguments from Anthony’s defense team on whether or not she should be required to serve probation.
At issue: Anthony pleaded guilty to 13 charges in a check fraud case in January 2010. Judge Stan Strickland sentenced her to time-served in jail, and a year of probation after her jail release.
But last month, when Anthony was acquitted of murder and released from the Orange County Jail, she wasn’t put on probation. The Department of Corrections said Anthony served that probation in jail while she was awaiting the murder trial.
Anthony’s defense team objected, and Perry heard arguments from attorneys earlier this month.
Perry asked the defense team if they knew Anthony was serving her probation while she was in jail. One of Anthony’s attorneys admitted that they did, but didn’t think it was their burden to notify the court.
Perry eventually issued an order stating Anthony does have to report to probation.
In that order, Perry took up the issue with the attorneys too, saying that, “the failure to abide by that order and the failure to notify the court of a known scrivener’s error in the order may be a violation of an attorney’s duty of candor.”
“No attorney should conduct himself or herself in a way that impedes an order of the court. … Our system of justice should never be in the position of rewarding someone who willfully hides the ball.”
A spokeswoman with the Bar said no other information about the investigation into Baez is public.
It’s unclear if the Bar initiated the inquiry on its own, or if someone filed a complaint against Baez.
Baez did not respond to requests for comment.
Baez has been the target of several other Bar inquiries since taking on Anthony’s case in the summer of 2008. Anthony was acquitted last month on charges of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie.
*In September 2009, the Bar cleared Baez of an ethical complaint accusing him of getting paid inappropriately in the case.
*That same month, the Bar cleared Baez of ethics allegations made by private investigator Dominic Casey, who claimed Baez never paid him. He also said the attorney told him to walk away from Caylee’s remains if he ever found them and contact Baez. Both complaints were dismissed based on insufficient evidence.
*Strickland wrote the Bar about the Dominic Casey incident, also resulting in no formal action against Baez.
*The Bar initiated its own investigation into Baez after the State Attorney’s Office faxed news releases that seemed to be generated on his behalf by his former spokesman that were critical of State Attorney Lawson Lamar. The Bar found no disciplinary proceedings against Baez were appropriate.
*The Bar confirmed a separate complaint against Baez in early February. Specific details about that complaint have not been released.