The Professor presents:
What is about Central Florida judges? Is it something in the water or Mickey Mouse syndrome. How many have to go down before they learn that everyone is watching?
First there is Polk County Court Judge Susan Barber Flood. This situation is confusing. It all started when the JQC and the Sheriff were investigating wrongdoing by another judge in falsifying time records of his Judicial Assistant. In the process of the investigation, the suspect JA made allegations regarding Flood and her bailiff (a deputy Sheriff) name Bubba. (Yeah you read it right. She was involved with a guy named Bubba.)
The JA alleged that the "fraternization" involved a sexual relationship, which she claimed she witnessed. When the JA submitted to a polygraph, it indicated deception (polygraph talk for she lied). The JQC proceeded and Flood has been publicly reprimanded. Flood agreed that she “entered into an inappropriate relationship with her bailiff,” which was described as a "friendship" that "went beyond the fraternization that normally occurs in a professional workplace context."
I don't think I am doing the case justice, so here is the link to a news article about the case and the opinion ordering the reprimand.
Then there is the story of Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler from Seminole County. While on her way to a 5thDCA JNC interview she received a ticket for speeding (87 in a 55 mph zone). Now, that in itself is nothing important, except she had a horrible driving record that included several speeding tickets. (How does a judge get several tickets?) She knew her driving record was a problem, and would be asked about it. When she was asked whether she had any tickets "this year", she lied and said "no." (This is minutes after having received the ticket for 87 in a 55) A JQC investigation resulted in several charges of deception to the JNC. Now, she has agreed to a public reprimand. The recommendation is pending Fla. S.Ct approval.
Lastly the story of Seminole County Court Judge Debra Krause. She has two complaints pending. The first she has admitted for falsifying her campaign contributions report by claiming a gift from her husband of $82K was a loan. Then came number two. A complaint that she wrote a post on her Facebook page denouncing her husband's opponent during his unsuccessful bid for a Circuit Court seat. She has attempted to consolidate the complaints for a single punishment, and the JQC has denied that request.
The warning here to all you would be judges: (1) Stay off of Facebook; (2) Drive properly, and, if you don't, make sure you get withholds or dismissals; (3) Don't lie on your application or at your interview; especially if there is someone on the panel who does not like you; and (4) If you get there, keep your hands to yourself.