ORLANDO, Fla. – Andrew Bain, the new Orange-Osceola state attorney appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of Monique Worrell’s suspension, met with the area’s three major law enforcement leaders Thursday as he worked to establish his administration of the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
Bain met with Orange County Sheriff John Mina, Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith and Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez, according to a post on Orlando Police Department’s Facebook page.
“As chief of police, my focus has been on reducing violent crime in our community. I look forward to working closely with State Attorney Andrew Bain to make sure together we are keeping violent felons off our streets,” Smith said in a statement in the post.
Bain also released a 100-day plan on Thursday that he said was meant to restore public trust, law and order, and strengthen the office’s relationship with law enforcement.
“With a steadfast dedication to fairness, justice and accountability, State Attorney Bain aims to renew the public’s faith in the criminal justice system while ensuring safety for the Orange and Osceola community for all residents,” said Bain’s office.
Most notably, the plan includes a thorough review of previously dropped cases involving “homicide, sex crimes, drug trafficking, and major violent crimes.”
DeSantis said one of the reasons he suspended Worrell was a history of dropped cases, and a higher rate of dropped cases than other state attorneys’ offices.
In the past, Worrell has said she was not going to prosecute a case if the evidence of the crime was not provable beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Under my administration, this office will not operate on a ‘throw it against the wall to see what sticks’ mentality. We respect the rule of law. We understand what it takes to move a case from probable cause to reasonable doubt and we will not ignore the facts where they are lacking,” Worrell said.
Worrell’s criticism of law enforcement agencies led to an antagonistic relationship with agency leaders, particularly Mina and Lopez. Worrell has accused both men of working with DeSantis to create a case to remove her from office.
Bain, meanwhile, has pledged to work with the agencies to identify repeat violent criminals and “stop them in their tracks,” saying he would enhance communication, coordination and data-sharing.
Bain told prosecutors on Wednesday that he was suspending all state attorney-created diversion programs until they could be reviewed. In his 100-day plan, he said he planned to introduce a new second-chance program to enhance any diversion programs he was keeping.
Worrell’s office had several diversion programs, including programs for juveniles and drug possession cases.
Read the full plan below.
In a commitment to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution, State Attorney Andrew Bain announced an ambitious 100-day plan aimed at restoring community trust in law enforcement, reconstituting law and order, and strengthening relationships with law enforcement agencies. With a steadfast dedication to fairness, justice and accountability, State Attorney Bain aims to renew the public’s faith in the criminal justice system while ensuring safety for the Orange and Osceola community for all residents.
The 100-day plan encompasses a multi-faceted approach that emphasizes fairness, accountability, transparency, collaboration, and effective prosecution. Key highlights of the plan include:
Rebuilding Public Trust:
• State Attorney Bain is committed to transparency and accountability. Community outreach programs and events are being planned to empower citizens, mentor youth, and address community concerns.
Ensuring Accountability and Rehabilitation:
• State Attorney Bain will establish a balanced approach to justice, facilitating rehabilitation for non-violent offenders and offering alternative sanctions for non-violent offenders where appropriate to reduce recidivism.
Strengthening Law Enforcement Partnerships:
• State Attorney Bain is implementing a victim first prosecution against violent crimes, drug trafficking, and major criminal offenses, with a focus on swift and just resolutions.
• Working with law enforcement to identify the most dangerous, violent, and repeat offense criminals in our communities to stop them in their tracks.
• Collaboration will foster relationships to benefit Orange and Osceola residents, enabling seamless information sharing to tackle complex crimes.
Restoring Law & Order:
• State Attorney Bain met with Orange and Osceola County law enforcement agencies on the first full day of the job to enhance communication, coordination, and data-sharing to combat criminal activities effectively.
• Announcing a “Second Chance” program that will enhance previously implemented diversion programs that work to prevent continuing harm to the community and a reduction in recidivism. He will be adding programs that are lawfully instituted to address some of the issues that will bring a person into the criminal justice system i.e. poverty, homelessness, mental health, food insecurity, and skilled job training for non-violent offenders.
• Halting any presumptive nonenforcement policies – these policies do not provide the citizens of Orange and Osceola justice to prosecute a case with no intent to stem the tide of illegal behavior.
Reviewing Dropped Cases and Speedy Trials:
• State Attorney Bain and his leadership team will conduct a thorough review of previously dropped cases involving homicide, sex crimes, drug trafficking, and major violent crimes to ensure that justice is served and public safety is upheld.
• Implementing measures to expedite trials while upholding due process rights.
Prosecutor Recruitment and Retention:
• State Attorney Bain will replenish a severely understaffed office. He will recruit and retain experienced prosecutors with expertise in prosecuting major violent crimes.
• He will launch comprehensive training program for prosecutors to enhance their skills in investigations, filing decisions, managing daily dockets, considering alternative sanctions, and effectively preparing for trials and pretrial motions.
Revitalizing Service Agencies and Local Nonprofits:
• The State Attorney’s office will collaborate with local nonprofits to provide training, mentorship opportunities, and support to at-risk individuals and communities.State Attorney Andrew Bain's office
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