Complaint Filed With Florida Bar Against Mark O’Mara
Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel reports that she has confirmed that a complaint has been filed with the Florida Bar alleging ethnic violations by Orlando attorney Mark O’Mara. As of now, who filed the complaint and specific allegations are not known. However, the Florida Bar has confirmed that its staff is investigating. The complaint is related to Mark O’Mara’s handling of George Zimmerman criminal case.
Mark O’Mara took on representing George Zimmerman in his case of second-degree murder for the killing of unarmed, 17-year old Trayvon Martin. That representation got off rocky as O’Mara represented to Judge Lester that Zimmerman should be given a low bond because the Zimmerman had no assets. The State subsequently produced evidence before the court that before that bond hearing was held, Zimmerman had received almost $200,000 in donations through a PayPal account.
Mark O’Mara also presented to the court that he had turned in George Zimmerman’s passport. The State subsequently produced evidence that Zimmerman has another passport, a valid and current one, that his wife had placed in a safe deposit box.
Mark O’Mara took over the “legal defense fund” and obtained a “Trust administrator.” Some of the administration later changed, as O’Mara said that George Zimmerman appointed another Trust administrator. O’Mara did not provide details.
The PayPal account for the “George Zimmerman legal defense fund” has been closed for about a month.
It has been reported that Mark O’Mara used money donated to Zimmerman to upgrade his offices with computers. Also, Mark O’Mara and co-counsel Don West formed a company that purchased a building next door to O’Mara’s office, and leased the building to O’Mara, who paid the rent from money donated to Zimmerman. That building was said to have been used for the exclusive purpose of working on George Zimmerman’s defense.
Since Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder case, he has had several run-ins with the law. O’Mara announced that he would not represent Zimmerman in any new criminal cases, neither the divorce case that George’s wife, Shellie, initiated.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Florida Bar reported today that neither Assistant State Attorneys de la Rionda nor John Guy currently face ethics complaints related to the Zimmerman case.