Today’s winner is Andrew R. Mikos. He gets the award for the following.
MANATEE COUNTY — A felony prosecutor who was questioned in a criminal investigation was fired Thursday for disclosing details to his brother about a pending marijuana case, the state attorney’s office said.
The prosecutor, Andrew R. Mikos, 28, violated office policy on confidentiality by talking about the case with his 31-year-old brother, who was detained last week in Bradenton Beach in a theft investigation, the chief assistant state attorney said.
Mikos also used a state database to obtain vehicle registration information about the defendants. The notes were written on a paper that his brother was carrying when police stopped him. Mikos said attorneys have misused the database — running the names of celebrities and ex-girlfriends. He said he often includes handwritten notes in case files.
Bradenton Beach police say Mikos’ brother, David R. Mikos, tried unlawfully to get $1,000 from the two marijuana case defendants in exchange for promising to get their charges dropped through his relationship with the prosecutor. Andrew Mikos had been prosecuting the case against Adam Arling and his girlfriend Jessica Boyd.
Andrew Mikos was suspended Friday.
Police cleared Andrew Mikos this week, saying there was insufficient evidence that he was part of the alleged theft plot. But in a report, police detailed inconsistent statements made by the brothers. Among them: David Mikos said he wrote the note that contained the vehicle registration information about the defendants.
What happened with Mikos brother sounds fishy. Was the prosecutor selling justice? It wouldn’t surprise me. He did however break office policy and show horribly poor judgment. That is enough to earn Andrew R. Mikos today’s Knucklehead of the Day.
What is Mikos going to do now? Go to work as a defense attorney.
The rest of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune article is below the fold.
A prosecutor must be above the appearance of impropriety in the way he handles his cases and himself,” the chief assistant state attorney, Dennis Nales, said Thursday. Mikos, he said, was not given a chance to resign.
News spread fast around the legal community Thursday. Mikos’ colleagues were stunned. Some attorneys called the firing excessive and unsubstantiated. But police say Mikos is responsible for his own unraveling.
Attorneys describe Mikos as flexible and down-to-earth — reasonable to a point, but not a pushover. He successfully prosecuted a man for robbing a deputy sheriff’s wife and landed a conviction against a man accused of running over a police officer in a botched drug deal.
“Andrew is a bright, gifted attorney,” said former prosecutor Steve Michaels, now a defense attorney. “Having worked with him and against him, I have no reason to doubt his integrity.”
It remained undetermined Thursday what impact, if any, the termination will have on Mikos’ license to practice in Florida. Mikos, an attorney since 2004, has no record of complaints on file with the Florida Bar.
Nales said the state attorney’s office is not obligated to forward the termination papers to the Florida Bar for further review because Mikos violated office policy, not ethical rules.
Mikos, who has a 4-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son, intends to find work defending criminals.
“I’m looking forward to trying a case against that office,” Mikos said in an interview at his home.
Mikos, whose father is a doctor and whose mother is an attorney, was fired a week after police questioned his brother.
David Mikos, police say, pitched Boyd and Arling a one-day offer: He could make their charges go away for $1,000.
He reportedly told them that their attorneys would get a call to go to court to hear about the reduced charges before the charges were dropped entirely. He knew prosecutors intended to reduce the charges to misdemeanors — but defense attorneys Mark Lipinski and Robert Cook had not been told.
David Mikos reportedly showed Arling and Boyd a picture of Andrew Mikos on a cell phone.
Arling, 20, and Boyd, 21, were suspicious. Arling called Lipinski, who phoned police.
David Mikos, who is unemployed and lives in Hillsborough County, told police he tracked down Arling and Boyd at their home after snooping in his brother’s file, which was at Andrew Mikos’ home in Bradenton.
David Mikos told police several versions of why he was at the Arling home in last week. According to reports: He said he wanted to buy a boat. He said he wanted to buy marijuana. Then he said he wanted to get cash.
This month a judge ordered the return of $3,700 to Boyd and Arling. Police seized the money after arresting the suspects. But the cash was not a part of the criminal prosecution.
David Mikos told police that he suspected Boyd and Arling had money because of their alleged ties to drug dealing.
Andrew Mikos told police he learned about the plot after taking a call from a detective. David Mikos told investigators that his brother had nothing to do with the scheme.
Police want David Mikos charged with criminal solicitation to grand theft, a felony.
Andrew Mikos would likely be called to testify if his brother is prosecuted.