No Jail Time For Ex-Dade Bailiff Accused Of Misconduct
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former Miami-Dade circuit court bailiff accused of accepting cash in exchange for fixing traffic tickets won’t be going to jail.
Juana Olga Durand, 52, had been charged with three felonies: uttering a forged instrument, official misconduct and illegal compensation along with a misdemeanor count of violating the county’s ethics code.
During a hearing Tuesday, she formally accepted a plea deal from prosecutors and was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and $380 in court costs.
Court records show Durand claimed she could arrange legal help for a man with various traffic violations. She’s accused of accepting cash payments, while in uniform and on-duty outside the Miami-Dade family courthouse in downtown Miami.
The man she was helping was Maciel Gonzalez, who was working undercover with Miami-Dade public corruption detectives, according to court records.
Those detectives recorded and videotaped a number of conversations between Durand and Gonzalez, according to the warrant.
Durand reportedly arranged for a local attorney to represent Gonzalez in exchange for cash and also arranged a fake certificate showing Gonzalez had completed traffic school.
She was also accused of using her relationship to the Police Benevolent Association to make traffic tickets disappear. Durand has a daughter who works for the Miami-Dade police department and her husband is also a bailiff in Miami-Dade criminal court. Her daughter is on the Board of Directors for the Police Benevolent Association and her husband is a member of the PBA Executive Committee.
She had faced up to 25 years in jail if she’d had been convicted of all counts.