Shady Past of Indian River Co. Judge Robert Meadows, Same Judge Ruled To Terminate Meghan Walsh Parental Rights

The Termination of Parental Rights Judge Robert Meadows Worked at the Indian River Sheriff’s Department Has a Shady Past & Inaudible Court Reporter & Connections in Suwanee, Georgia

We began looking into each Judge connected with the Meghan Walsh CPS case. Inconsistencies in the treatment of Ms. Walsh and her attorneys and the mutual respect in Judge Meadows’s courtroom and past are beyond questionable. His connections run deep and wide, with several years working at the Sheriff’s department where Meghan’s father, John Walsh, campaigns for the Sheriffs.

Judge Meadows ran for Judge, and Indian River County citizens began asking questions and found very few answers. In my discoveries, I found information all the way to my hometown of Suwanee, Georgia.

Conveniently documents pertaining to Judge Meadows’s past are destroyed, and the only reliable witnesses are the former Indian River Co. Sheriff, who happens to be the first cousin of Judge Meadows’s wife. Former sheriffs stated they would not vote for him because he was not a great deputy sheriff. And his personal life is much like his life as a demoted deputy sheriff with a crappy car and graveyard shift in hopes he would quit.

I wouldn’t vote for Bob,” said Wheeler, who became sheriff in 1992. “He wasn’t a great deputy. He was the type who yelled at people when things weren’t going his way, and that’s not what I wanted at the sheriff’s office.”

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Judge Meadows, please reach out to us if we have this wrong. We are happy to tell your side of the story too.

Until then, please read on to hear about Meghan Walsh and others who have endured Judge Meadow in court. Learn what Judge Meadows told CBS about the court during COVID-19 and how it slowed down the court system. See how his biased statement to Ms. Mandell in court before a closed TPR trial where the public could not attend varies from his statements given to CBS.

During the Meghan Walsh termination of parental rights trial, he informed Ms. Mandell that he would not be delaying Ms. Walsh’s trial because she does not run his courtroom; he allowed Zoom testimony yet was biased when it came to the State failing to provide necessary service providers for Ms. Walsh to complete the Family Department’s judge ordered “tasks.”

Meghan Walsh First Private Counsel Appears Before Judge Robert Meadows

Days before the trial, Ms. Hollis E Mandell, the private attorney for Meghan Walsh, first appeared in front of Judge Robert Meadows and pled for the Judge to allow her to appear as co-counsel to assist the court-appointed attorney to save Ms. Walsh’s enormous attorney fees that she could not afford.

Once a court-appointed attorney, Ms. Mandell states, “I would have accepted any help from private attorneys in a case against a parent to keep four children together in the same house.”

Judge Robert Meadows denied Ms. Mandell’s request and stated she must either take on the case entirely or not at all, and if not, she could not make an appearance on behalf of Meghan Walsh.

Ms. Mandell could detect a clear bias in tone and words as Judge Meadows stated he “did not want to completely hobble Ms. Mandell,” he ordered the court-appointed attorney to maintain the witness subpoenas. The supposed one-inch super thin trial binder where the court-appointed attorney claimed he was “trial ready” was never returned to Ms. Mandell.

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Meghan Walsh Attorney Files For Change In Venue For Termination of Parental Rights Trial

The Law Office of Hollis E. Mandell appealed, asking the court to reconsider the venue, aka court jurisdiction. Judge Meadows was clearly biased at the first hearing Ms. Mandell attended, and the outcome seemed to be pre-determined.
Transcripts were requested in advance but not made available until after the appeal was entered and received per court deadlines.
Soon after the appeal was received, the costly court reporter’s transcript was made available. Still, the exact spoken words “did not want to completely hobble Ms. Mandell.” by Judge Robert Meadows were redacted as “not audible.”

Judge Robert Meadows & The Indian River Appellate Court Refused Change In Venue

The change in venue for Meghan Walsh’s termination of the parental rights trial was denied the same day it was entered. Judge Robert Meadows stated, in short, that the trial would be going forward and Ms. Mandell should be prepared despite being a sole practitioner who had scheduled trials even though she had only taken on the case in a ditch effort to rescue Ms. Walsh from the Judge Meadow’s court-appointed attorney & friend.

Little things can lead to big questions in cases such as this. A few interesting things we found when researching Judge Robert Meadows:

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Judge Robert Meadows & The Thank You Canada Letter

Judge Robert Meadows was involved in the controversy surrounding the Thank You Canada letter that went viral on social media. Snopes wrote this about the Thank You Canada letter.

Judge Meadows Had a Troubled Past At Sheriff’s Office According To Vero News & His Ex-Wife

According to Vero News, Judge Meadows claims to be a lifelong Vero resident. He actually went to high school in Boca Raton, according to the application he filled out when he applied for a job at the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. On other paperwork, he reported being employed as a patrolman in the Deerfield Beach police force for four years.

The Indian River Co Sheriff’s Department arrested Meghan Walsh when she checked the wrong box on a form. I wonder why they didn’t arrest Judge Meadows?

Vero News goes on to state:

“More troubling than these inconsistencies is his record while he was with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, where he was twice charged with conduct unbecoming an officer.

Former Indian River County Commission chairman and Sheriff Gary Wheeler said he remembers Meadows as an “aggressive, abrasive cop” and questioned his temperament and suitability to put on a judicial robe. We think Ms. Walsh and Ms. Mandell will agree.

With local Indian River Judicial contests overshadowed by the presidential slugfest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the election for the man who will replace Judge F. Shields McManus on the all-important circuit court has not garnered much interest from voters.

McManus retired at the end of his term after nine years on the bench. Political newcomer Meadows, 58, surprisingly won the primary against three other candidates in the 19th Judicial District – which lumps together Indian River with Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties.

Meadows took on the Aug. 30 second-place finisher, Stuart attorney Michael McNicholas, for a six-year term that pays $146,080 a year and allows the winner to preside over some of the most important local cases, including the Meghan Walsh case.

While he has defended several hundred criminal cases in Indian River and St. Lucie counties as well as in the federal system since he became a lawyer in 2005, Meadows remains a relative unknown to the general public.

In that context, Vero Beach 32963 opted to vet the Vero Beach resident in the absence of any reporting about Meadows’ background in the local daily.

Meadows describes his previous career as a lawman on his campaign flyers but does not elaborate, saying it consisted of “15 years as a uniform law enforcement officer in the local area.”

Strangely, he doesn’t say where.

As it turns out, Meadows spent a problem-plagued ten years with the Indian River County Sheriff’s office. He was a road deputy, lieutenant, and detective from 1987 until 1997.

He was nearly fired for “conduct unbecoming” in 1991. But instead of getting the administrative “death penalty,” he was demoted from lieutenant to deputy – a highly unusual and steep demotion by law enforcement standards.

Vero Beach 32963 requested a copy of the Internal Affairs investigation that led to Meadows’ demotion but was told the paperwork had been destroyed because the incident occurred in the 1990s and only needed to be safeguarded for five years.

Today, the only mention of the demotion comes from two brief lines in forms filed by the sheriff’s office in connection with Meadows’ request for admission to the Florida Bar Association in 2005.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners document showed the then-Lt. Meadows was accused of the wrongdoing in April 1991, and the charge was sustained by Internal Affairs weeks later.

As a result of the charge, he was demoted to road deputy, with a salary cut from $35,000 to $25,000, and assigned to the graveyard shift.
He was accused of “conduct unbecoming” again in April 1997, but that charge was deemed “unfounded,” and Meadows resigned to pursue his interest in law.

We contacted six sheriff’s officials from that era, and none – including the then-Sheriff Tim Dobeck – seemed to remember what led to Meadows’ demotion.

Tim Dobeck is now a citizen of Suwanee GA and chief guard of WSI, according to his Linkedin page. 

“The name sounds familiar, but I don’t remember what that [incident] was about,” Dobeck said from his home in Georgia.
Does the name sound familiar? Dobeck forgot to mention his ex-wife is Meadows’ first cousin.

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According to Florida Voter rolls Richard Timothy Dobek  of Vero Beach Florida at 3516 ATLANTIC Blvd
VERO BEACH, FL 32960 is still on the Florida Republican Party voter rolls. 

Orchid Police Chief Phil Redstone, who was in charge of Internal Affairs at the sheriff’s office in the 1990s, doesn’t remember the details but remembers that whatever Meadows was accused of was a big deal. “Conduct unbecoming,” he said, includes a vast variety of improper behavior.

“I don’t remember the incident itself, but I remember being brought into a meeting to discuss whether Bob was going to be fired,” Redstone said. “The demotion was a way to keep him without having to fire him. It was a mercy thing.” ~ Orchid Police Chief Phil Redstone

In one of his performance evaluations in late 1991, found in what’s left of Meadows’ employment file at the sheriff’s office, Meadows appeared to be considered by his peers as a hot-head.

“Bob has had a problem in accepting constructive criticism without becoming defensive or irritable,” the evaluation reads while pointing out that, in late 1991, he was improving.

Wheeler didn’t recall either incident involving Meadows because he had not become sheriff yet but offered an opinion about the five years Meadows served under him.

“I wouldn’t vote for Bob,” said Wheeler, who became sheriff in 1992. “He wasn’t a great deputy. He was the type who yelled at people when things weren’t going his way, and that’s not what I wanted at the sheriff’s office.”

Meadows said he worked in private security before being hired as a deputy and brought a wealth of then-cutting-edge private security experience to the job. For that reason, Meadows said, he was quickly placed at the forefront of Dobeck’s effort to restructure the sheriff’s office.
He claims his rise to prominence in record time was at the root of his just-as-swift demotion.

“We were in the middle of the state accreditation process, and I ended up being asked to restructure the whole agency through a then-new tool – a computer,” Meadows explained. “I was one of the only ones who knew how to use it, and I used it to rework the duties of every single member of the service and civilian.”

When we first reached Meadows, he hung up the phone when asked about the demotion. But his campaign manager and sister, Virginia Meadows, arranged a meeting in his downtown office to explain why he ran into trouble.

“In the restructuring process, some people were promoted and some demoted,” Meadows said. “I was promoted from deputy to lieutenant, so I had a bull’s eye on my forehead.”

Meadows said he came to work one day and was told he was under investigation by Internal Affairs for disobeying an order. He had, he says, no idea what he had done as he handed over his gun and shield and was placed on administrative leave with pay.

“Eventually, I found out it was because I gave a secretary an order despite the fact I was told not to give anyone an order until my superior came back from vacation,” Meadows says. “It’s as stupid as that.”

Dobeck, with whom he was close, didn’t lift a finger.

“I got demoted, and they hoped I’d quit,” Meadows said. “They gave me the worst squad car in the agency and the worst shift. But I wouldn’t quit. I showed up for my first day with the old car looking like new after I buffed it.”

Wheeler didn’t give Meadows a break either. Meadows’ employment file shows he applied to be a sergeant in 1994, three years after the demotion but was turned down.

He passed the tests to be on the SWAT team, Meadows said but wasn’t assigned to the elite squad.

Meadows eventually left the agency in 1997 with the rank of detective specializing in child abuse. According to his employment file, he told the exit interviewer he decided not to wait for his 20th year and the pension that’d go with it because he needed a career change.

After leaving the Sheriff’s Office, Meadows enrolled in the little-known Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, and eventually went on to a successful career as a lawyer in Vero Beach.

Meadows’ personal life, meanwhile, hasn’t been a bed of roses. He was married and divorced thrice by age 43, and now he is single.

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Judge Bob Meadows Confirms The Court System Was Not Moving Normally During Covid-19 Pandemic

Despite his attempts to state otherwise during the Meghan Walsh case, Judge Bob told  CBS 12 that the court system was not moving normally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read this article to see the video of Judge Meadows & read his and CBS’s words.

CBS 12 states, “The 19th Judicial Circuit in Florida includes Martin, St Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties. For now, court proceedings are moving along slowly. Judge Robert Meadows, a circuit court judge, has had to adapt to many changes since the pandemic. For starters, he set up a kiosk outside the St. Lucie County Courthouse in Ft. Pierce to help juvenile delinquents get their hearing moving along. The 19th circuit is now allowed to have some face-to-face interaction, but most hearings are to be done by Zoom calls; for the most part, they’re frustrating.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Judge Meadows told CBS 12 News.

“During a first appearance hearing that may last about an hour, technical difficulties had the judge sitting on his bench for nearly three hours. Judge Meadows says in other cases, the witnesses tend not to take the hearings seriously.” CBS “She was literally walking around Walmart with her cell phone on,” he said. “I could literally see everything she was about to purchase and not going to purchase.”

According to Judge Meadows, most witness testimony is supposed to happen while the witness is sequestered, meaning no one else is in the room, and no one else is to know what the witness says. The process is frustrating, but Meadows agrees it’s the best way to keep the courts rolling while keeping people safe.

“Things are getting done,” he said. “Other judges are doing the same, but not at the pace we’d like.”

The Florida court system is on a four-phase reopening plan; Phase One calls for little to no face-to-face interaction, and Phase Four means COVID-19 is no longer a threat. The Florida Supreme Court continues to put out administrative orders, adjusting the reopening plan as the number of coronavirus cases grows.

Among some of the rules, most hearings are to be done over video calls if possible, and no one is allowed inside the courthouse without a face mask or with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees.

Trials by jury are also suspended until further notice.
Inside Judge Meadows’ St. Lucie County courtroom, blue tape marks six feet of distance on benches and the floor. It’s more the preferred way to do justice, but he says it will have to do for now.
“I think we’re doing it the right way, I think there is no doubt about it.”

Indian River Co Judge Bob Meadows Tells Damien Gilliams “You’re Walking a Find Line”

As Florida citizens, Meghan Walsh states, we should be court watching and listening to what Judges are saying and how they treat the accused BEFORE you are the accused.

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