Sarasota News Leader

07/19/2013

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JUSTICE DELAYED Bob Waechter (second row, far left) watches the swearing in of new county commissioners on Nov. 20, 2012. Photo by Norman Schimmel FORMER GOP CHIEF'S DAY IN COURT PUSHED BACK By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor The trial of a former Sarasota County GOP chairman accused of a third-degree felony, originally slated to begin next month, has been pushed back to the fall because the Sheriff's Office has not yet finished a forensic analysis of computers seized during the investigation. The jury trial of Bob Waechter, the head of the Sarasota Republican Party from 2004 to 2006, had been scheduled to begin Aug. 19, with a pre-trial docket sounding penciled in for July 29. But Assistant State Attorney Brian Iten and Waechter attorney Stephen Walker, citing "unexpected delays" in case preparation, agreed to push the trial back to Oct. 21, with a docket sounding now scheduled for Oct. 7. explains to The Sarasota News Leader. He says his office doesn't expect to pursue any additional investigations before the trial begins, and that the October court date should hold. Walker did not respond to a phone call. Waechter is facing a Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information charge stemming from a complaint lodged last year by Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations President Lourdes Ramirez. Ramirez, a likely Republican candidate for the County Commission next year, went to authorities after she received a note sent by Democratic congressional candidate Keith Fitzgerald's "We're still waiting on the results of the foren- campaign, thanking her for donating $200 to sic analysis of some of the computers," Iten the Fitzgerald effort in 2012.

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