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Here We Go Again Another Broward Judge in Trouble
Here we are halfway through the year and here we go again, another Broward County judge in trouble. Earlier this afternoon the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC), filed “Formal Charges” against Broward county judge Gina Hawkins.
What did the judge do?
According to the JQC the judge choked a courthouse employee that failed to have her afternoon schedule ready on time.
Probable cause exists as to the following formal charges: “1. On June 11, 2019, at approximately 10:30 A.M., you instigated a physical confrontation with a court employee. You sought out the confrontation by interrupting the employee’s work in another courtroom and summoning him into a secure hallway. As he walked through the door, you placed your hands around the neck of the employee and shook him. Your actions were captured on a courthouse security camera.”
2. The genesis of the conflict with the employee appears to have been your displeasure with the fact that he did not have your 2:00 P.M. afternoon docket available for you that morning.
That’s right, the judge seems to have choked a courthouse employee, a simple touch strike battery under Florida law, Florida Statute 784.03, and to make it worse, she is trying to deny it even though a video record of the event exists.
It does not usually turn out well for judges that challenge the JQC. In fact, this seems to only be step one.
The JQC wants the Florida Supreme Court to suspend the judge immediately without pay and says she is unfit to serve on the bench.” two-thirds of the members concurring, that the Commission should recommend Judge Hawkins be immediately suspended without compensation, from the position of Circuit Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit, pending final disposition of this matter.
And-Your actions constitute inappropriate conduct that violate Canons 1, 2A, and 3B(4) of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct, and demonstrate a present unfitness to serve.
Unfitness to Serve
That is some pretty serious language, and it’s meant to be. It is quite clear the JQC wants this judge off the bench permanently. If any of us as employers, or even just common citizens, put our hands on someone in that way, we would probably be sitting in jail.
In the judge’s defense, (According to her lawyer), she cried when she saw the video but still denied remembering actually putting her hands on the employee. She stated the video looked grainy. Guess she has no memory.
Only in Broward County, the most disciplined judicial circuit in Florida, are the judges so arrogant, and believe themselves so entitled, could someone contest charges like these with the mountain of evidence against them. The judge could end up disbarred also if she is not careful.
The Florida Supreme Court has to sign off on all this and has shown in the past their willingness to impose harsher sentences, which is something we believe will happen in this case.
July 20, 2019
The Florida Supreme Court has suspended Broward Circuit Court judge Vegina “Gina” Hawkins, without compensation, effective at 5:00 pm Friday, July 20, 2019, until final disposition of the JQC allegations against her.
They also released a video of the incident that caused the charges to be filed against the judge.
South Florida Corruption