A former Jacksonville Bar Association president convicted on 103 gambling-related charges in 2013 likely has not seen his last hearing.
It’s been about two weeks since the 5th District Court of Appeals threw out Kelly Mathis’ conviction for his legal representation of controversial non-profit Allied Veterans of the World.
Allied Veteran was linked to a regional gambling ring involving internet cafes and sweepstakes style winnings. Fifty seven people were initially arrested as a result of the investigation, but Mathis was the only one to stand trial. The investigation also led to the resignation of then Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll.
Mitch Stone, Mathis’ attorney, said the Florida Attorney General’s office informed him they plan to request a re-hearing from the Court of Appeals on the decision to overturn the conviction.
“Our hope is that [the court] finds their original ruling is solid,” said Stone. “If the appellate court doesn’t change its mind, [state prosecutors] would have the option to go to the Florida Supreme Court to appeal.”
Stone said If the appellate court’s ruling stands, Mathis could still face a new jury trial, depending on what the state decides to do.
Mathis’ spent four days in jail out of the six year sentence handed down by a Seminole County jury in 2013. He was released on bond pending his appeal. Immediately after the Court of Appeals decision, Mathis said he felt like things were taking a positive turn.
"I'm not out of the woods yet, I've had a big step but I think I see a clearing ahead," Mathis said earlier this month. "I think things are going to work out."
Stone says they are prepared for the future litigation that continues to criminalize Mathis’ legal advice to Allied Veterans.
“[Kelly] was emphatic about [Allied] following the rules. He would tell them all the time that these are the rules and you have to follow them, and they followed them,” said Stone. “So to say that he was instrumental in causing them to break the law was just not the truth.”