Besieged by criticism of his autocratic management style and decisions on criminal cases, Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe announced this morning he will not seek re-election!
While he claims to have a “compelling” job offer from the private sector, McAuliffe’s move comes a week after Gossip Extra posted a damning video (below) showing a potential juror telling a judge she couldn’t serve because she was afraid of McAuliffe.
The juror claimed she was threatened on a parking lot one night last year.
On Saturday, someone advertised the post on Facebook and the link was sent to thousands of local Democrats.
Google Analytics statistics show the post received 1,280 uniques visitors and possibly five times as many views over the weekend. The video alone was viewed 860 times locally, and counting.
And Sunday, Gossip Extra posted another exclusive about the fact that ex-State Senator Dave Aronberg would be announcing his candidacy by the end of the month — despite being asked by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, a staunch McAuliffe supporter, not to run.
In early polls, McAuliffe hasn’t done well against Aronberg and hasn’t been able to raise the kind of cash that could carry him through.
Said Aronberg: “Although we’ve had our differences, Michael McAuliffe served with great passion and dedication. I have a lot of respect for the people in that office.”
Staunch liberal Democrat McAuliffe, the husband of Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Robin Rosenberg, took office in 2008. She used to introduce him as “the next governor of Florida.”
In a terse statement announcing he was dropping his campaign, McAuliffe said he’d achieved his goals.
While he did place an emphasis on the prosecution of gang members and operators of illegal pill-dispensing clinics, McAuliffe was plagued by his thin skin, something that often caused him to send rambling rebuttals to negative reporting about his administration.
Over the past six months, he faced mounting criticism about his dropping charges against two West Palm Beach police officers whose beating of a suspect made national news and his accepting of a plea deal from Thanksgiving killer Paul Merhige, saving him from the death penalty.
State judicial statistics also show that McAuliffe’s office is dead last in the state when it comes to conviction rates of in felony and misdemeanor cases.
I’m told The Palm Beach Post, whose editorial policy was to defend McAuliffe no matter what, is preparing a scathing article about McAuliffe’s tenure. It’s scheduled to run Sunday.