Miami's Former Top Cop Still Battles Ex-Wife in Court

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Riptide is a sucker for news stories that drown quietly in the media sea. Suddenly, something interesting happens and readers get story after story after story. Then months pass. Maybe even a year passes. And this oceanic phenomenon can't help but wonder: What ever happened to...

This time, it's the divorce of U.S. Attorney Marcos D. Jimenez from his wife of 15 years, Michelle. You might remember the case: In spring 2004, the former top federal cop in Miami tried to close his divorce case -- filed by Michelle on February 26, 2004 -- arguing that a seal was needed to protect his three daughters from "potential danger."

At the time, theMiami Herald put up a fuss, quoting its outside attorney, Sanford "Sandy" Bohrer, as saying: "There is no basis for any sealing whatsoever."

A judge agreed and refused to close the file.

But the Herald seemed to lose interest. And the case still languishes on a courthouse shelf as a result of continued fighting between Jimenez and his ex-wife over child visitation and alimony, among other things.

Some highlights:

- When Jimenez stepped down as U.S. Attorney in 2005, he was pulling in $136,900 per year and was worth an estimated $469,149. But he lived relatively modestly, driving a 1999 Acura TL worth $11,000.

- Jimenez's wife allegedly tells the children that the former federal lawman left as a result of extramarital relationships: "The wife told the minor children that the divorce was the husband's fault and that it was based on the husband's actions, including repeated representation to the children about the husband's relationship with others," Jimenez's attorney, Dori Foster-Morales, wrote in a December 28, 2004, court filing.

- "The former husband has repeatedly threatened former wife and apparently now is attempting to make good on his threats!!" Michelle's attorney, Andrew M. Leinoff, wrote in a June 28, 2005, court filing. (Leinoff has a fascination with multiple exclamation points!!!)

But the most fascinating dispute revolves around an encounter involving Jimenez, his ex-wife, and his daughter Sarah about a year ago.

According to a brief filed by Leinoff, Michelle was driving Sarah and three friends to the movies one night. "Sarah asked the former wife to stop by the former husband's new home so that she could show her friends her new furniture," the court filing states. "The former husband first told Sarah that her furniture had not yet arrived, but when Sarah went into the house, she saw that was untrue. The former husband lied to try and keep her from entering the house. No wonder this relationship [with Sarah] is strained!!"

Oh! Damn! Snap! Double exclamation point, sucka!

But Foster-Morales -- Jimenez's attorney, who uses terminal punctuation more sparingly -- describes a different series of events:

The former wife, with the middle daughter and three of her friends in the car, suddenly and without warning appeared at 10:20 p.m. at the father's house. The former wife had never before brought any of the children to the father's residence, and given the time of this visit, her actions were clearly out of line. Seeing that the father had a female friend visiting his home, the former wife encouraged the daughter to enter a setting that the former wife knew would create a problem for the daughters and their father. The daughter and her friends made a brief visit, during which time the former wife waited outside with her car running.

Following the visit, the former wife began to make nasty calls and e-mails in the presence of the daughter and her friends to not only the father but also gratuitously to the children's paternal grandmother, who has cared for the children during their entire lives. The former wife left voice mails containing highly offensive, base, and insulting language. That evening and the next morning, the former wife repeated, in expanded form to all three of her daughters, the accusation... about the father's purported fault in the divorce, conduct and relationship with others, and made negative comments about their paternal grandmother...

Jimenez is now an attorney at Kenny Nachwalter, described by Leinoff in a court paper as a "prestigious law firm" (no exclamation point).--Trevor Aaronson

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