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By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2000
CLEARWATER -- The parents of a woman whose right-to-die case has drawn national publicity filed an appeal Tuesday to keep her alive.
Bob and Mary Schindler are asking the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland to overturn a Pinellas judge's decision to let Terri Schiavo's feeding tube be removed. The Schindlers are fighting their son-in-law, Michael Schiavo, who says his wife would want to die after spending 10 years in a vegetative state. The Schindlers want her kept alive in the hope she will improve.
After an emotional weeklong trial in February, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer granted Schiavo permission to remove the feeding tube 30 days after all of the Schindlers' possible appeals have been exhausted.
Mrs. Schiavo, now 36, collapsed at her St. Petersburg home Feb. 25, 1990. Her heart stopped beating, and she was deprived of oxygen for five minutes. She has been in a vegetative state since.
TAMPA -- Hillsborough Circuit Chief Judge Dennis Alvarez filed a motion Tuesday asking for the dismissal of a lawsuit recently filed by the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV Ch. 8 involving records related to a sexual harassment investigation of another circuit judge. In the motion, Alvarez claims the lawsuit is filed in the wrong court. It should have been filed with the 2nd District Court of Appeal, which has jurisdiction over the case, not the 13th Circuit, according to the motion.
Earlier this month, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state panel that oversees judicial conduct, accused Judge Edward Ward of kissing a female judge without her consent, inviting a woman into his office for beer and sending sexually suggestive e-mails to courthouse employees. Alvarez has said the records are confidential since they were turned over to the JQC for its investigation. The records will become public, he said, once they are admitted into evidence at JQC proceedings.
The lawsuit contends that the records don't become exempt from disclosure just because they become part of a JQC investigation. A decision on Alvarez's motion is expected in several weeks.
TAMPA -- A man who asked for a new trial after learning the officer who arrested him was under investigation for throwing a suspect head-first into the bed of a pickup truck agreed to a plea Tuesday that freed him from jail.
Bruce Thaw pleaded to a charge of disorderly conduct and received 26 days in jail, which he had already served. Prosecutors agreed to drop the felony charge of obstructing an officer with violence, according to court documents.