A Florida judge is facing ethics charges after reports of charged language he used in a criminal case. According to reports the judge ran into trouble after the prosecution asked him to recuse himself from a case that was before him. According to prosecutors in the case, the judge wrongly gave advice to the public defenders in the case, and as a result hurt his credibility to be a neutral arbitrator in the case.
In response to the prosecutor’s request that the judge recuse himself, the judge called what the prosecutors said a “lie from the pit of hell” and called them idiots. These comments and the alleged advice that the judge sent to the public defender’s office from the center of the accusations against the judge.
Formal proceedings against the judge were filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and now the judge has the ability to challenge the commission’s findings to the Florida Supreme Court. The investigative panel of the commission took a vote as to whether they should file the charges, and a majority of their number decided to do so.
Judicial Investigations Under Florida Law
The conduct of Florida judges is regulated and overseen by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. That commission is made up of two separate bodies - an investigative panel that acts a prosecutor making charges and a hearing panel that decides the charges. Judges are held to a high standard and must obey certain norms or they could lose their position. Holding a judge to a higher standard is important for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that judges should be neutral judges of the law.
Once a case is finished at the Judicial Qualifications Commission it goes to the Florida Supreme Court. Once the case is finished at the commission level, the Florida Supreme Court will review the charges, findings, and recommendations made by the panels. It is up to the Florida Supreme Court as to whether a judge will be punished for charged violations of judicial norms.
Being judges themselves, the supreme court judges are uniquely aware of what it takes to be a successful judge. They also know how important it is for judges to obey the rules that regulate judicial conduct so that our system of justice is actually just. Once an order is handed down from the Supreme Court of Florida, there is very little doubt that the accused judge had every opportunity to present and defend their case to the fullest.
Panama City Area Accident and Injury Attorney
Practicing accident and injury law before a judge requires an attorney with a reputation for honesty, competence, and experience. At The Pittman Firm our team of dedicated professionals take our role very seriously, and professionalism in court in front of a judge and with our clients is of the utmost importance. If you have been injured in an accident contact us. We look forward to going over your case with you and helping you resolve the issues facing you.
See related blog posts: Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Interstate Injury Claims; Court of Appeals Rules on Police Officer Immunity.