Florida Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Former prosecutor faces suspension after admitting to ethics violations in 2009 attempted murder case


By Karen Kidd | Feb 4, 2020

Florida Supreme Court | Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE — Former assistant state prosecutor and Key West attorney Colleen Marie Dunne faces voluntary suspension following an Aug. 24 Florida Supreme Court order over allegations that she withheld information about a defendant in a 2009 attempted murder case, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"Dunne, a state prosecutor, misrepresented to the court and opposing counsel her knowledge and possession of pertinent statements made by a defendant at the time of his arrest," the state bar said in its Jan. 31 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "The statements were ultimately turned over to the defense well in advance of trial."

In its two-page order, the Supreme Court approved the uncontested referee's report filed in the matter before suspending Dunne for one year and ordered her to pay $1,250 in costs.

Dunne's suspension was effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow her time to close out her practice and protect her existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order.

Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of Dunne's suspension.

Dunne was admitted to the bar in Florida on Dec. 20, 2000, according to her profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Dunne's state bar profile.

Dunne resigned last month from her job in the Monroe County State Attorney’s office following her admission to ethics violations.

Allegations against Dunne stemmed from the murder case against former Miami Beach Police Captain William Thomas Skinner, who was accused of shooting his estranged wife's boyfriend. Dunne was assigned to prosecute the case against Skinner, who was charged with attempted murder and burglary of a dwelling with a firearm.

Dunn allegedly withheld from Skinner's attorneys detailed in three jailhouse telephone conversations between Skinner and his son on the day of the shooting, June 1, 2009, according to the consent judgment reached between Dunne and the state bar.

The consent judgment also includes Dunne’s conditional guilty plea.

Skinner, now 64, is held at the Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach, where he is serving a life sentence, according to an online state inmate search. He was denied a new trial in 2014.

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Organizations in this Story

The Florida BarFlorida Supreme CourtMonroe County State Attorney

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