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Judge will hear motion on behalf of bailiff

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000

TAMPA -- Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Susan Schaeffer will hear a motion filed last week on behalf of a Hillsborough County bailiff involved in a courthouse scandal.

As is standard practice in such cases, Hillsborough Chief Judge Dennis Alvarez had asked Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Wells to appoint an outside judge to hear the case, as it involved Tampa judges.

Jerry Hill, the state attorney in Bartow conducting one of several ongoing courthouse investigations, had subpoenaed records from bailiff Tara Pisano, who reportedly feared for her job after breaking off a romance with Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gasper Ficarrotta.

Hill is not investigating the affair, however. He is trying to determine whether Circuit Judge Robert Bonanno broke any laws after entering the empty chambers of a circuit judge for whom Pisano occasionally worked.

Pisano's lawyer objected to the subpoena and filed a motion for it to be quashed on the grounds that the records Hill sought are protected by attorney-client privilege.

No court date has been set.

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