Via Southern District of Florida: No charges for DeFede, I learn that “it is now official — the State won’t charge Jim DeFede for taping Art Teele’s last phone conversation.” Assistant State Attorney Joseph Centorino, chief of the public corruption unit, went out of his way, however, to say this was an exercise of prosecutorial discretion on the grounds that no one had been hurt, and DeFede both had good intentions and was cooperative afterwards:
However, it would be incorrect for anyone to assume from this result that Mr. DeFede’s actions, in tape recording a conversation without consent, were appropriate or justified. They were not. . . . It is the uniqueness of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Arthur Teele, and his last conversation with a trusted friend, which has led to the conclusion not to prosecute, rather any special journalistic privilege or legal exception accorded to Mr. DeFede.
(Not mentioned is that prosecutors are sometimes a bit shy of tangling with popular sympathetic journalists.) Although this doesn’t prove that DeFede’s actions were illegal, I think it supports my position in my debate with David Oscar Markus.
But the Herald remains adamant that DeFede is not getting his job back, more fools they.