Discover more from Public Enemy Number 1
Jerry Hill is paid $5,833/month to attend parole hearings. So why did he miss Leo Schofield's in May?
By year's end, Jerry Hill will have made $394K from his former office since retiring as State Attorney in 2016. As my Bar complaint against Hill progresses, that fat stipend makes powerful evidence.
Images may cause this article to truncate in email. Click through to the site if you need to. It’s worth noting that every grift of justice and shady act on display here is carried about by avowed “anti-woke” Republican prosecutors. (I’m an NPA if you care about that.)
You, the taxpayer, provide former 10th Circuit State Attorney Jerry Hill with a $5,833.34 monthly payment — above whatever he makes from the state pension system. That comes to right at $70,000 per year. Theoretically, you pay him to provide:
Legal Services for the preparation and attendance of Parole Commission Hearings for cases from the 10th Judicial Circuit. Representing the State Attorney’s Office during these hearings. Also includes consulting with Assistant State Attorneys regarding post conviction cases.
I say “theoretically” because you paid Jerry Hill in May 2023 $5,833.34 to miss the highest profile parole hearing in the history of the 10th Circuit — the May 3rd, 2023 parole hearing for Leo Schofield.
Schofield has been in prison more than 30 years for the murder of his wife, despite the fact that a convicted murderer named Jeremy Scott has confessed repeatedly, in escalating detail, to Michelle Schofield’s murder, and despite the fact that this known killer left physical evidence — a palm print — on Michelle Schofield’s car the night she was killed. No jury has ever heard any of those facts, thanks largely to Jerry Hill. And no eyewitness or physical evidence has ever tied Schofield to the killing. He was convicted on vibes alone.
Schofield’s story has become famous because of the Bone Valley podcast by Gilbert King and Kelsey Decker
$394K in taxpayer money to generate a Bar complaint that keeps moving forward
In a 2020 Parole Commission hearing for Schofield, Hill told parole commissioners that “the defendant” in the Schofield case, who is Leo Schofield, had confessed to killing Michelle. This is unambiguously false. Schofield has never wavered in asserting his innocence. Hill made several other blatantly false statements — in addition to constantly conflating Leo Schofield Jr. with his father, Leo Schofield Sr.
I filed a Florida Bar Complaint against Jerry Hill in July 2023 over that 2020 performance, for which he was paid thousands of taxpayer dollars, and his abusive behavior at a public meeting in 2023, when I asked him about his 2020 performance.
You can read the details of my complaint, Hill’s response, and my rebuttal, in the following two article links:
Schofield prosecutor Jerry Hill's passive response simplifies and strengthens my Bar complaint against him
My complaint keeps moving forward.
I received word this week that the Bar has forwarded it to a branch office for further investigation. It was first assigned to the Orlando office, then transferred to the Tallahassee office.
The Bar says that only one-third of complaints against lawyers make it this far. See below. Nobody can argue it’s frivolous.
I don’t have any guess as to what happens now — even though Hill’s 2020 violations are unambiguous and uncorrected.
The “Bar counsel” assigned to Hill’s case seems quite junior — only having been admitted to the Bar in 2018. I’m not going to name the lawyer; and I don’t know what to make of the inexperience. I’m not sure if this is typical of “Bar counsel.”
But Hill is a well-known and well-connected in legal circles. I suspect a lot of institutional pressure can be brought to bear on his behalf. That’s how you end up with a fat $5,833 per month retirement stipend.
So we’ll see.
Another confession: the 10th SAO paid Hill to stay away in 2023 because they know his 2020 act was a violation
I have known for a few weeks that 10th Circuit State Attorney Brian Haas was paying Hill a lot of money each year for Parole Commission (technically known as Florida Commission on Offender Review) work. Chief Assistant State Attorney and spokesman Jacob Orr explained the arrangement to me here. Note the “all” in bold, which apparently does not apply to the highest profile of all the cases.
The State Attorney’s Office pays Jerry Hill for certain legal services. Mr. Hill was paid approximately $50,000 annually from 2017 through 2020. His was paid approximately $58,000 in 2021 and $66,700 in 2022. Mr. Hill is responsible for the coordination of all cases that go before the Florida Commission on Offender Review. Mr. Hill’s duties include cases being considered by the Commission for parole, parole revocation, medical release, clemency, and the restoration of civil rights.
I wrote about Hill’s payments in the article below. But I noticed Orr did not tell me about 2023 payments.
$324,000: Schofield prosecutor Jerry Hill has profited substantially from his former office since his 2016 retirement
In retrospect, I feel foolish for not recognizing that pay structure as a monthly retainer. But I had it in my head that it was some sort of hourly or pay-for-service arrangement. If those previous payments are in the form of a monthly retainer, the monthly rate has grown from $4,166 to $4,833 to $5,558 to $5,833. That’s about a 40 percent raise since 2016. One wonders if Hill’s workload has grown 40 percent. He clearly had his workload reduced in 2023 as it relates to Leo Schofield.
Jerry Hill’s performance in the 2020 Schofield hearing, first cited in Bone Valley, then publicized aggressively by me, had become well-known long before I filed a formal Bar complaint about it.
I wrote an article about how Jerry Hill spit a “Fuck you” at me in response to a direct, but polite question I asked about his 2020 act prior to a Polk County Commission meeting in March 2023.
And I had a theory: if the money Hill made plummeted in 2023, it would signal that the SAO knew what a legal and moral liability he had become. It would, in effect, endorse my complaint by deed, if not words. So I requested itemization of Hill’s 2023 work. What I got back was his monthly invoices. I published the one for May 2023 at the beginning of the article.
My theory was proven correct, but in a totally different (and much worse) way.
The SAO was obviously so afraid of Jerry Hill showing up for a Leo Schofield parole hearing sequel — or to be confronted by Schofield’s defense — that they paid him $5,833.34 not to do the job he is paid $5,833.34 to do, on the biggest parole case in 10th Circuit history.
Then they’ve gone right on paying him.
That’s an institutional confession — just like Jerry Hill’s lawyers confessed on his behalf when they said he stands by everything he said in 2020. Brian Haas, Jacob Orr, and the SAO obviously do not stand by that performance.
If they did, they would have let Jerry Hill do the “job” you and I pay him $5,833 per month to do on the biggest parole hearing they’ve ever had.
For $5,833.34 per month, Jerry Hill should be able to pay his own legal bills. But you’re probably paying those, too
None of this is funny.
These bumbling blowhards have destroyed a man’s life and for years denied the people of Polk County the chance to correct a grave error by acting on the correct information — which the jury did not have access to in 1989.
But I will admit there’s a dark slapstick to it all — to the rank, open failure to do the vital public job these people are hired to do. The lengths they will go to avoid admitting they’re wrong is sort of hilarious, if one can avoid thinking about Leo Schofield sitting innocent in a prison cell while you giggle. I can’t do it for long.
But I will admit to laughing when I got the itemized 2023 invoices yesterday via email — for multiple reasons.
The funniest is just how cheap Jerry Hill must be.
No one will say for the record; but it’s very unlikely Hill is paying his own legal bills in defending against my complaint. He is represented by the firm that doubles as the general counsel for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, of which Jerry Hill cannot be a member because he is not an active prosecuting attorney. Jacob Orr said his understanding that Hill is entitled to legal defense paid for by FPAA because … reasons.
Here’s a rundown on the silly sideshow that is Jerry Hill trying to avoid spending any of his own money to defend against my complaint. Most, if not all, of that money comes from taxpayers anyway.
Are *you* paying for ex-Schofield prosecutor Jerry Hill's legal defense against my Florida Bar complaint?
And because the FPAA is funded by an assessment it levels on State Attorney’s Offices across the state, anything it spends on Hill’s defense is almost certainly taxpayer money, too.
How do you feel about the return on that investment?