And what about the Bar? It took eighteen months to recommend a suspension for Ronnie. Such a slow-witted, lackadaisical approach to policing its own profession creates a permissive atmosphere for people like Ronnie, people who lack the moral strength necessary to be ethical members of the legal profession.
But there may be reason for hope. For one thing, I can attest that Ronnie has not lost his puckish sense of humor. During negotiations with the Bar, Ronnie offered as part of his punishment "to fund, organize, and teach an ethics course for lawyer-lobbyists in Florida."
That Ronnie -- what a kidder! I'm sure everyone at the Bar got a big laugh out of that knee-slapper. Maybe the course could be part of a daylong retreat, with Miller Dawkins teaching a seminar on public integrity and Cesar Odio providing bookkeeping tips. But I digress.
The real issue is what to do with Ronnie? The easy route would be to suspend him for 75 days. There is also ample justification to disbar him. But what he really needs is a hug, not to mention a whole lot of counseling. I say he should be institutionalized and studied by a team of the world's leading doctors so that maybe, just maybe, we can find a cure for the dreaded Ronnie Book Syndrome.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I pray you will do the right thing.
If you would like to let the Supreme Court know your feelings about Ronnie Book, please fill out the accompanying questionnaire and mail it to the address at the bottom of the box.
Dear Chief Justice,
I am writing regarding Supreme Court Case No. 90,805, The Florida Bar v. Ronald Lee Book. As a citizen of the State of Florida, I wish to make my opinion known regarding the sanctions the Court should impose on Mr. Book:
Ron Book is a sick man who can't be held responsible for his actions. Therefore I oppose any punishment for Mr. Book that doesn't include years of INSTITUTIONALIZED TREATMENT AND COUNSELING at a secure facility.
While I find Ron Book's actions both shameful and sleazy, and while I believe him to be a man of limited integrity, I nonetheless support the Florida Bar's recommendation that his license to practice law be SUSPENDED FOR 75 DAYS.
Ron Book has repeatedly shown disrespect for the law, and he has significantly added to the public's mistrust of both the legal profession and the political process. His continued presence as a member of the Florida Bar brings disrepute to not only every lawyer in the state, but to each of its citizens as well. I therefore believe Ron Book should be DISBARRED.
Thank you for your consideration.
Check one box only and send to:
Chief Justice Gerald Kogan
Supreme Court of Florida
500 S. Duval St.