Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which the judge had not contested, the Florida Supreme Court reprimanded a judge who (1) on numerous occasions, exhibited improper behavior, including outbursts and tirades while court was in session, throwing files and cursing at attorneys, defendants, and others, being rude and overbearing to defendants, attempting to physically and verbally intimidate other judges, and verbally abusing and intimidating courthouse personnel; (2) altered or controlled the judicial record, ordering court reporters to go off the record when he made certain comments and confiscating tapes if they did not; (3) as a general practice, ordered all persons except the jury to leave the courtroom upon conclusion of a trial, ordered that the courtroom door be locked, and had ex parte communications with the jury; (4) criticized a jury’s not guilty verdict; (5) ordered a defendant charged with unemployment fraud held without bond although the defendant had no felony convictions, had been a resident in the county for 40 years, and was married with a family residing in the county; (6) directed the clerk to assign a particular probate case to him and then appointed as executrix a person with whom he and his wife had a personal and business relationship; (7) requested another judge to change a guilty verdict to adjudication withheld; and (8) requested the head of the probation department to pay the salary of a person whose position had been eliminated with funds set aside for a new probation officer. In re Trettis, 577 So. 2d 1312 (Florida 1991).


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