Monday, December 11, 2006
HANG ON SLOOPY
Perhaps this serves as a good a warning as any to our new Judges, and some of the older Judges. We have never seen such egregious conduct in Dade County, although from time to time we have seen Judges refuse to set aside BW’s for people who were clearly confused by the sounding/trial dates.
TALLAHASSEE - (AP) --
A judge who jailed 11 people because they were late for traffic court after being directed to the wrong courtroom lost his job Thursday. The Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled he was unfit to remain on the bench.
The justices said the jailing and strip searching of the 11 misdirected motorists capped a series of complaints of intemperate conduct against Seminole County Judge John Sloop, 57, of Sanford.
''Judge Sloop's indifference to the anxiety, humiliation and hardship imposed upon these 11 citizens reflects a callous disregard for others that is among the most egregious examples we have seen of judicial authority and lack of proper judicial temperament,'' the high court wrote in an unsigned opinion.
The justices also offered an apology on behalf of the judicial system to the citizens of Florida, Seminole County and the 11 jailed defendants. They came to court on traffic citations ranging from driving with a suspended license to having an illegal tag.
As part of the same investigation, Sloop had been accused of ignoring court rules by refusing to release one defendant on a minor charge and acting more like a prosecutor than a judge through rude and abusive treatment of another.
Sloop admitted he violated judicial canons in all three cases. At a Judicial Qualifications Commission hearing, Sloop blamed his behavior on undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and said he had since received treatment for his condition.
Sloop expressed no bitterness over the decision, saying he joined the justices in hoping his removal will help restore public confidence in the judicial system.
''I spent my life helping people understand they are responsible for their actions,'' Sloop said.
``I am responsible for the grievous things that I did.''
Sloop said to believe otherwise would be hypocritical.
Rumpole says: Good riddance
PS: Our favourite federal blogger, David O Markus with a K has some real good stuff on his blog lately. From the Supreme Court's dwindling docket, to coverage on the Padilla torture allegations, and a link to a poignant Miami Herald article we missed on Miami Attorney Ellis Rubin's farewell to friends and colleagues as he remains hospitalized with advanced cancer.
Click on the link to the left and check it out.
President of the Miami chapter of the FACDL; running his blog and a busy practice. Hardly leaves any time for drinking and gambling. Not for us.