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MIAMI — Results of a week-long inspection conducted by inspectors, scientists and photographers into mold conditions at the David Dyer Federal Courthouse in Miami should be released in two weeks. The inspection team, hired by Miami attorney Alan Goldfarb, completed work Thursday. A judge granted Goldfarb the right to inspect most of the building as part of his lawsuit against the General Services Administration. Goldfarb sued GSA, an arm of the federal government, Dec. 28 on behalf of the children of deceased Magistrate Judge Ted Klein. The suit alleges that Klein died due to mold and unsafe conditions at the Dyer Building and the negligence of the government in keeping the building safe. Meanwhile, the government has finally responded to the lawsuit, which also sought to obtain documents about the building under the Freedom of Information Act. Not only did the entire Southern District of Florida bench recuse itself from the case but apparently Alex Acosta, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, also did. The case is being defended by an Orlando, Fla., civil attorney and former federal prosecutor, Cynthia Hawkins, acting as a special assistant U.S. attorney. In her long-awaited response, Hawkins essentially denies every charge in the complaint without offering any information as to why Goldfarb did not receive the requested documents. Hawkins then adds this caveat: “In the event Defendant is found to have denied Plaintiff’s FOIA request, Plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies.” Hawkins could not be reached for comment. Goldfarb said in an interview he was disappointed that he has only received parts of 13 items out of the 42 he requested more than three months after he filed it. “It sure looks like they’re hiding something,” he said. Goldfarb said he was given free rein to inspect the Dyer Building, with the exception of an area in the basement the U.S. Marshal’s Service designated a “sensitive law enforcement area.” According to court documents, that area includes a spot that houses classified documents used in the recent Jose Padilla terrorism trial. The area is only open to those with top-secret security clearance and, according to a government filing, “is a secure facility where law enforcement sensitive activities take place.” Parts of the basement were also used to incarcerate high-profile prisoners like former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

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