Thursday, June 7, 2012
The Florida Supreme Court has imposed a public reprimand of a judge for "unexcused, habitual tardiness" and an "inappropriate statement regarding religion."
The judge had stipulated to the tradiness charge. The complaint alleged that he was often late for court, did not conclude matters in a timely manner and offered litigants hearings on Fridays after 5 and Saturdays. It was also alleged that the judge took "multiple, lengthy smoke breaks."
The judge had made the following remark in a civil jury trial:
I don't know of anybody that's made a mistake--and except perhaps one, and for that we murdered him. You know, he was faultless and we murdered him for it. That's not politically correct, but I happen to believe in God --Christ is the intercessor."
He contended that the religious reference was an isolated instance that did not involve a judicial code violation.
The court here disagreed.
The judge also must write a letter of apology to the legal community and keep weekly time logs that must be submitted to the special counsel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission. (Mike Frisch)