THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
JQC - JUDGE PANDO - NOTICE OF FORMAL CHARGES .......
County Court Judge Ana Maria Pando has been formally notified by the Florida Supreme Court today, through notice to her attorney Robert Josefsberg, that the Investigative Panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission has determined that probable cause exists for formal proceedings to be "instituted against you to inquire into charges based on allegations that you violated, Canons 1, 2A, 3B(1), 3B(5), 3E(1) and 5G of the Code of Judicial Conduct."
Notably, they are considering her prior conduct:
In paragraph seven of the Notice of Formal Charges, it states that: "The Florida Supreme Court previously reprimanded you. In re Pando, 903 So. 2d 902 (Fla. 2005). In that case, you stipulated that you knowingly or recklessly accepted improper campaign contributions. The fact and the timing of the campaign contributions by Mr. Cereceda through his corporate entities, coupled with your actions on behalf of Mr. Cereceda, give the appearance of impropriety."
The Notice concludes by stating:
"These acts, if they occurred as alleged, would impair the confidence of the citizens of this State in the integrity of the judicial system and in you as a judge; would constitute a violation of the Preamble and Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct; would constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary; would demonstrate your unfitness to hold the office of judge; and would warrant discipline, including, but not limited to, your removal from office and/or any other appropriate discipline recommended by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission."
The Notice of Formal Charges can be found here:
Judge Pando is running for re-election in Group 10 of the County Court. Soon after this matter became public she drew opposition from attorney Diana Elizabeth Gonzalez who has been a practicing attorney in Florida for less than eight years.
Now let the process take its course. Judge Pando has 20 days to respond.
In other news, the JNC announced today that they are accepting applications for those wishing to replace Judge Maxine Cohen Lando. Deadline is April 18th.
Captain Out .....