Boca Raton: Haynie trial to start no sooner than late October

By Mary Hladky

Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s trial on public corruption charges has been pushed back for the third time.

The new trial start date is Oct. 26, but there is no certainty it will begin then.

Palm Beach County Chief Judge Krista Marx in early July extended her suspension of all trials until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen set the new date on July 10 after both the prosecutor and Haynie’s criminal defense attorney agreed on the change. They also agreed on the previous Sept. 21 trial date.

In both instances, they said the pandemic has made it difficult to complete pre-trial discovery and expressed concern that not enough potential jurors would be available.

The original date for Haynie’s trial was March 23.

Haynie, 64, was arrested on April 24, 2018, on charges of official misconduct, perjury, misuse of public office and failure to disclose voting conflicts. She faces more than 20 years in prison if she’s convicted.

Prosecutors contend that Haynie used her position on the City Council to vote on six matters that financially benefited James Batmasian, the city’s largest downtown commercial landowner, and failed to disclose income she received from him.

She has pleaded not guilty. Her attorney, Bruce Zimet, has repeatedly said she will not accept a plea deal.

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Comment by Hobart Gapp on July 31, 2020 at 9:59pm

Playing the covid card to stay out of prison?   Lots of folks are doing it.   The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind.  Let’s see what happens in the fall. 

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