Thursday, May 13, 2021
The Florida Supreme Court has reprimanded a judge
According to the stipulation, Judge Cupp admits that the conduct described in the Notice of Formal Charges occurred. Judge Cupp admits that in the lead up to the 2020 election for Hendry County Court Judge, he began contacting individuals he knew in Hendry County to inform them that he was supporting the incumbent judge’s opponent, because of concerns he had heard about the incumbent. Judge Cupp’s preference for the incumbent’s opponent eventually became widely known in the community. Judge Cupp admits that his conduct in making unsolicited contact with many influential members of the Hendry County community, during which he expressed his preference for a certain candidate in a judicial race, and in some instances requested that the community member support his favored candidate, was not only inappropriate, but violated Canons of Judicial Conduct 1, 2B, and 7A(1)(b) and damaged the integrity of the judiciary, by creating the appearance that he was interceding in a judicial election. Judge Cupp also admits that he violated canon 7 and chapter 106, Florida Statutes, during his 2020 reelection campaign by failing to officially designate a campaign account and treasurer with the Division of Elections prior to receiving any contributions or issuing any funds, and that his conduct damaged the public’s perception of the judiciary.
The judge must appear in person to be administered the sanction. (Mike Frisch)