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Mitch Perry Report for 7.1.16 — The wheels of justice move excruciatingly slow

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

American celebrates its 240th birthday on Monday, and the 40th anniversary of the Bicentennial.

I was a relatively young kid who doesn’t have a whole lot of recollection of that particular day (other than our family was on vacation someplace in Northern California), but I certainly do remember the yearlong hype into that summer.

Two days ago in this space we commented on the length of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s emails at the State Department, and what was up with the delay? The New York Times reports this morning that Attorney General Loretta Lynch will announce later today that she will not overrule her investigators whenever they finally produce their final verdict. That’s significant in that when the F.B.I. sought to bring felony charges against David Petraeus for mishandling classified information and lying about it, then Attorney General Eric Holder stepped in and reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. That won’t be happening this time, and how could it? After Lynch compromised herself by meeting up with Bill Clinton in an airplane on the tarmac in Phoenix earlier this week in an absolutely inappropriate get-together.

And get this; the paper reports that while the FBI is expected to make a recommendation to the DOJ “in the coming weeks, though agents have yet interview Mrs. Clinton.”

I don’t really get that at all.

Speaking of the criminal justice system moving at a molasses-like pace, Curtis Reeves Jr.’s trial on charges that he shot a man in a movie theater in Pasco County in 2014 will apparently not take place until next year. The 73-year-old former Tampa police officer continues to live the good life at home, and the Tampa Bay Times reports that Reeves will get to make his case that he acted in self-defense at a court hearing that will start Feb. 20, 2017.

Sorry, folks; I get how slow the justice system can work, and some people complain about convicted murderers being on death row for more than two decades, but this is absurd. Back in January, the FBI said they were doing analysis that would take another six weeks, and the state of Florida’s prosecutor said he had to yet to depose at the expert witness in the case. That’s two years into the case.

What are these people waiting for?

Meanwhile, regular readers might recall how engrossed I was after reading an excerpt of Gay Talese‘s new book in the New Yorker a few months ago. It’s a tale about a Colorado man who allegedly spied on guests at his Colorado motel from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s. Now, apparently, after The Washington Post noticed that this man lied about when he owned the motel, Talese appears to be running away from his entire book and its premise. Not good at all.

And that controversial abortion law sponsored by Lakeland Republican state Senator Kelli Stargel that would allow the state to contracting out with Planned Parenthood (for non-abortion services) and require 50 percent of all abortion clinic records to be reviewed by the state each year will not go into effect today.

Last night U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle blocked those parts of the law from going into effect while the case is argued or unless a higher court overturns his decision. The Times reports that he wrote in the opinion that he expects the defunding and record inspection provisions will likely be ruled unconstitutional.

Hinkle’s ruling simply blocks these parts of the law from going into effect while the case is argued or unless a higher court overturns his decision. He wrote in the opinion that he expects the defunding and record inspection provisions will likely be ruled unconstitutional.

Over 100 Bernie Sanders supporters have gone to court in Miami to sue Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic National Committee over what they say was a “rigged” primary system set up for Clinton to win.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine says he believes that the results from the UK’s ‘Brexit’ vote last week will adversely affect Florida’s tourism industry, but others don’t think so.

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco is backing Republican Shawn Harrison in the HD 63 race against Democrat Lisa Montelione. You’ll hear some hype that it’s another “D” crossing party lines to support Harrison, but when was the last time Greco endorsed a Democrat, anyway?

HD 59 Democratic candidate Rena Frazier gets the backing of Hillsborough County Commission Chair Les Miller and his wife, former Tampa City Councilwoman Gwen Miller.

And Rand Paul is endorsing former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino in the CD 19 race.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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