By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org
Fort Lauderdale heart doctor and major GOP fundraiser Zachariah P. Zachariah has picked up two influential allies in advance of his federal insider stock-trading trial this summer.
Former Florida Attorney General and top Democrat Bob Butterworth and Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Melanie May, both Broward residents, testified under oath two weeks ago as character witnesses for Zachariah.
Their depositions are not public, and neither responded to requests for comment. They are identified in court records.
Judge May supported Zachariah despite judicial rules that discourage testifying as a character witness.
Florida’s Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from giving such testimony voluntarily “because to do so may lend the prestige of the judicial office in support of the party for whom the judge testifies.” It says judges may testify if subpoenaed, but nevertheless “should discourage a party from requiring the judge to testify as a character witness…except in unusual circumstances where the demands of justice require.”