State Attorney wants to send message in case of ex-principal charged with lying to cops

State Attorney Angela Corey publicly laid out her expectations of the consequences for two former Raines High School administrators accused of trying to protect students by giving police false information. Corey told the Florida Times-Union she expects former principal George Maxey and assistant principal Oscar Harris, who still works at the school, to “show up in court and handle this issue.” Corey said she would likely be seeking community service hours as a possible sentence for the two men.

Both face the Jacksonville misdemeanor charge of providing false information to police in connection with the theft of electronics and other items from the visitors’ locker room during a football game at Raines last fall. The maximum penalty is a year in the county jail. Maxey was forced to resign in the December and the charge was filed in late January. Typically, the elected official would not get into the weeds on a Duval County misdemeanor case. But this one is different. Community leaders and those active in the school have rallied to Maxey’s defense after his ouster – acknowledging he made a serious mistake, but that the punishment was too severe. Criminal charges only ratcheted up those cries.

Sometimes it’s not always the charge but who is being charged that makes the difference in whether top officials from the prosecutor’s office get involved. Police do not like being lied to, and if they can use the case against Maxey to send a message that it lying to officers carries a penalty, they will. Messages are an inherent part of the give and take of the criminal justice system. Judges will, at times, make sure a stiff sentence is handed down in a courtroom full of defendants awaiting arraignment, so the whole crowd knows he or she means business.

Our Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, Tori Mussallem, has represented thousands of clients and has practiced in Jacksonville for over a decade. Our Duval County criminal attorney knows the cases that get attention, knows when to push back publicly and when to handle the matter discreetly to resolve a case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County criminal lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.