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Monroe County State Attorney Ousted

KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – The votes have been counted in Monroe County and incumbent state attorney Dennis Ward has lost his bid for re-election.

Ward lost to former assistant Miami-Dade State Attorney Catherine Vogel. The name may ring a bell for those in Miami-Dade County as she was the lead attorney on the original Baby Lollipops case in 1992. That original conviction was thrown out in 2002 by the Florida Supreme Court because prosecutors never shared several interviews with the defense team.

When Ward came into office, for the first time in years he established a public corruption unit in the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office. Ward would go after several high-profile cases, most notably Randy Acevedo and his wife who were convicted of stealing thousands from the Monroe County school district.

Ironically, Vogel was Acevedo’s attorney in the case. Acevedo was convicted on three felonies and his later appeal was denied.

Ward was said to be someone who went after powerful interests in the Florida Keys, but critics said what he did was more grandstanding and playing to the press. Vogel used that as a central theme to her campaign and said she wanted professionalism above politics.

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