THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
The Captain Reports:
You've heard of Girls Gone Wild - Call this JURIST GONE WILD:
Circuit Judge Richard Albritton Jr. of Panama City received a scolding Monday from the Florida Supreme Court for 14 admitted ethics violations, including unconstitutionally ordering a probationer to attend church, but he will be allowed to remain on the bench.
"Your behavior is unacceptable," Chief Justice Lewis (Rumpole notes: He's sharp our CJ,nothing slips by him) told Albritton, who stood silently beside his lawyer facing the seven justices. "It's a stain on all of us."
Judge Albritton admitted the violations in an agreement with the Judicial Qualifications Commission that calls for him to receive the public reprimand, serve a 30-day unpaid suspension and pay a $5,000 fine and $1,203.70 in costs.
Albritton initially was accused of 36 violations. In one instance he was accused of telling a woman in open court that she "needed to close her legs and stop having babies." Other admitted violations included jailing a young mother because she was unable to remember her address, soliciting gifts and invitations to lunch, getting hunting trips from lawyers and demeaning a Department of Children & Families staffer because of her young age.
And still more violations included asking parents in dependency cases whether they used drugs. If they answered no, he would order a drug test on the spot. If they tested positive he would have the parents jailed for contempt.
This is the kicker of all kickers. Albritton initially denied all 36 allegations. He finally admitted to the 14 violations only after qualifying for judicial elections had closed in May and no challenger filed to oppose his re-election. Can you believe it, NO challengers!!!
So, fellow RUMPOLE bloggers, who are you candidates for .... "JURIST GONE WILD"?????
Rumpole thanks the Captain for pitching in. Trial and all of that you know.