Letter to Sid Klein
|Date:||March 3, 1997|
[stamped "Feb 31 3 28 PM '97 Received Office of Police Chief"]
|John F. Lauro, P.A.||Attorney at Law
101 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33602
Tel. (813) 222-8990
March 3, 1997
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Dear Captain Klein:
This letter is to document certain events that have occurred over the last several weeks involving the Lisa McPherson investigation. I represent certain individuals in connection with the investigation. I have several concerns regarding the conduct of the Clearwater Police Department, and Sgt. Andrews in particular. I feel that it is necessary to bring these matters to your attention so that the record is clear regarding Sgt. Andrews' conduct.
Several weeks ago, I advised Sgt. Andrews that I represented Susan Green, and that under appropriate circumstances (e.g. the issuance of a subpoena), she would be available to speak with the authorities. Sgt. Andrews was thus on notice that he was not to contact Ms. Green directly. During this telephone conversation with Sgt. Andrews he inquired about my religious affiliation. Needless to say, I was shocked. In fifteen years of practice, including those as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, I have never had a government official ask about my religion. From the very start, I could detect an obvious religious bias on Sgt. Andrews' part.
Notwithstanding my notice to Sgt. Andrews regarding my representation of Ms. Green, Sgt. Andrews recently called Ms. Green and asked her questions regarding my representation of her. These questions were entirely inappropriate and invaded the attorney-client privilege. Furthermore, I understand that Sgt. Andrews began the conversation by falsely stating to Ms. Green that he had obtained her telephone number from me. Once again, this conduct is reprehensible.
After learning of this violation of the attorney-client
privilege, I called Sgt. Andrews to express my dismay at this conduct. Sgt. Andrews appeared to be unconcerned about this professional breach, and I could detect little understanding on Sgt. Andrews' part about the existence of constitutional protections. Instead, I came away believing that Sgt. Andrews thought that his conduct was acceptable and might be repeated in the future with other clients. During this conversation, Sgt. Andrews also suggested that there may be witness tampering by the Church's counsel because certain members of the Church had their own, independent counsel. Such comments are entirely inappropriate and unprofessional. Needless to say, Sgt. Andrews' untrue and defamatory statements in this regard further illustrate his bias and misunderstanding of basic legal and constitutional principles.
I have also communicated my concerns to the Pinellas County State Attorney's office. I have dealt with that office in the past, and on this case, and I believe that the State Attorney's Office will conduct itself with the utmost professionalism. I have every reason to believe that the office would never condone or participate in any constitutional violation. In fact, my high regard for the State Attorney's office has made the actions of the Clearwater Police Department even more surprising and shocking.
I would request written confirmation from you that your Department will not continue to engage in violations of the attorney-client privilege. Absent this assurance, I will need to consider what steps, if any, are required to legally enforce the protections my clients have under the Florida and U.S. Constitutions.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
John F. Lauro
cc: Honorable Bernie McCabe