Gainesville State Attorney rejects ‘Tooth Fairy’ case
Tooth and dental instruments on blue background. Dental treatment. Dentist tools mirror, hook, tweezers, syringe. Copy space for text

Tooth and dental instruments on blue background. Dental treatmen
Jacksonville dentist Howard Fetner has gotten some reprieve, but his nightmare is far from over.

State Attorney Brian Kramer, on behalf of the 8th judicial circuit, has rejected a case related to Jacksonville dentist Howard Fetner.

We reported last week about the state’s abysmal treatment of Fetner, first at the hands of the Division of Financial Services (DFS), which dragged him into a questionable and deeply flawed investigation, and then by the state’s Board of Dentistry, whose Chair is the very man suing Fetner and others in a civil suit worth millions.

In a strongly worded letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Kramer points out what should have been obvious to DFS — that only his Miami-Dade counterpart and the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor (OSP) have jurisdiction in the case. Kramer’s letter says “the crimes, if any occurred, occurred in 13th Judicial Circuit.” The desperate notion that some part of an alleged crime might have happened in Jacksonville was “circumspect at best, and there is little evidence to support it.”

That was reason enough to send DFS back to the bench, but Kramer went on to highlight some other spectacular errors. For example, he said the state had not charged Fetner with a crime and, in fact, had offered him immunity because they intended to use him as a witness. It was only after the 13th Circuit prosecutors dropped the charges against five dental office employees that DFS decided to pursue charges against Fetner — simply because he lives in Jacksonville, possibly giving them another turn at bat.

Kramer saw through the ruse and called it out directly: “Dr. Fetner’s involvement in the underlying matter was ancillary to main criminal allegations. This is exemplified by DFS using him as a witness. To now focus a criminal investigation on him because it is unavailable against the main defendants would be unjust.”

“Unjust” is way too polite for what has happened to Dr. Fetner and the five employees who were charged. This investigation was launched under suspicious circumstances after some generous campaign contributions, and just happened to coincide with a civil lawsuit in which millions are at stake. At best, this is an example of extreme overreach by DFS, executed with near-criminal levels of incompetence. At worst, it’s a blatant abuse of the state’s police powers, deployed for the benefit of rich campaign donors at the expense of innocent, hardworking Floridians.

Kramer’s actions proved his office wouldn’t be a part of the DFS charade and he deserves great credit for his professionalism and integrity. But that doesn’t mean Fetner’s nightmare is over.

Shortly after our last piece on this subject, (dig into all the background here) the Florida Board of Dentistry scheduled a probable cause hearing for July 12. As with the failed DFS investigation, this action also appears to have been orchestrated by Jose Mellado — who chairs the board and who, according to legal filings, may have already tainted the process through his own actions and/or those of his attorney, Edwin Bayo.

What happens next will depend on members of the dentistry board, in particular the probable cause committee. If they’re paying attention, it’s very possible they will find Mellado to be the cause of much unnecessary damage to the lives and reputations of innocent people.

Take note of these names, all members of the board: Jose R. Mellado, Chair from North Miami Beach; Karyn Hill, Parkland; Thomas McCawley, Ft. Lauderdale; Nicholas White, Winter Park; Angela Johnson, DeLand; Fabio Andrade, Weston; Ben Assad Mirza, Plantation; Claudio L. Miro, Miami.

From our perspective, it seems the game was rigged against Dr. Fetner from the beginning. This Board and its committee members should follow the lead of State Attorney Kramer and bring it to an end.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Christi

    June 20, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for continuing to report on this!

  • Madmamma

    June 20, 2024 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you for keeping the spotlight on this abhorrent displacement of justice. We are all tired of pay to play antics and I pray for the victims of this horrible abuse of the legal system. It’s been two years now. Please make it stop.

  • Bill Pollard

    June 20, 2024 at 5:03 pm

    Why has there not been an ethics investigation launched?

  • Stephen Burns

    June 30, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    Sounds to me like there is plenty of probable cause but the State Attorneys are choosing to cut him a break and now he is trying to play the victim.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704