Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Florida Supreme Court accepted the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and imposed a public reprimand of a circuit court judge, to be administered in person at a time set by the Clerk of the court.
The judge also must send letters of apology and continue mental health treatment.
There were a number of incidents at issue, including "screaming loudly" at an assistant state attorney who the judge thought had disrespected him.
The judge remarked to opposing counsel during a female assistant state attorney's argument at sidebar as follows: "Do you know what I do when my wife and I disagree? I just let her talk." He indicated that "once she is finished, you can do what you want anyway."
In another matter, he sentenced a defendant without his attorney present.
There was mitigating evidence of family stress and that the judge had sought treatment and counseling for his temper. The court gave considerable weight to these efforts. (Mike Frisch)