Crist Replaces Rothstein With Berger

By: Paul Brinkmann
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gov. Charlie Crist removed disgraced attorney Scott Rothstein from the state Judicial Nominating Committee, three weeks after allegations surfaced that he used the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm as a front for a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Crist appointed another South Florida lawyer, William Berger of Greenspoon Marder in Fort Lauderdale, in Rothstein's place.

"I'm thrilled and honored," Berger said Wednesday. "I'm abhorred at what's been going on with the Rothstein law firm. It's an embarrassment. But I'm overwhelmed that the governor thinks I'm someone who can help return us to honorability."

Berger acknowledged that he and the firm contribute to political campaigns, but "I don't look at this as a reward."

In the past, Crist has held off removing people from any public office until they are charged with a felony. But the governor signed an executive order Wednesday, saying that Rothstein's voluntary disbarment agreement with the Florida Bar constitutes malfeasance, because Rothstein admitted his disbarment was in response to allegations he misappropriated funds.