BY BUDDY NEVINS
My heart goes out to County Court Judge Gisele Pollack.
Gisele Pollack (photo courtsey of Browardbulldog.org)
This is a story that I have avoided mentioning. Since JAABLOG wrote today that the “main street media” are about to write about Pollack, I decided to post this.
Pollack has been struggling with alcohol for decades.
Recently she has been losing that struggle, writing irrational e-mails and finally on Tuesday yelling at courthouse personnel. Chief Judge Peter Weinstein had to intervene and advise her to get treatment immediately, numerous sources told Browardbeat.com.
This is particularly sad for me, since I have been a fan of Pollack’s since she first ran in 2003. I wrote this as an introduction to a profile about her that year:
“I never knew the waiter’s name. He kept it to himself, just like he does in Alcoholics Anonymous.
But the waiter knew Gisele Pollack ‘s name. She’s the assistant public defender who was eating lunch with me one day in downtown Fort Lauderdale. She was just telling me how she would make a good county court judge when the waiter suddenly leaned into our conversation.
“Ms. Pollack , do you remember me? You saved my life,” said the waiter. “I’m sober 2 1/2 years now.”
And Pollack teared up.
Not many candidates get that kind of testimonial. A lot of people in this community can say that about Pollack .”
I finished the column like this:
“Being down and out and recovering has taught Pollack a lot. She has compassion for those who hurt. She also knows firsthand about lies, excuses and evasions, because she’s heard them all.
Most of all, being drunk and now being sober has taught her to be fair. She knows people sometimes make mistakes and need a second chance.
It taught her to be open-minded.
Not bad traits to have if you want to be a judge.”
I still believe what I wrote.
Pollack went on to win election.
On the bench, she ran the drug court. She tried to help people conquer the illness of substance abuse.
But while fighting to help others, she forgot she needed to help herself.
This is doubly sad since Pollack is a judge, as JAABLOG wrote, “who has dedicated her career to evening the playing field, and getting help for people like herself who struggle with a sometimes overpowering disease.”
My prayers are with you, Gisele.
The community’s prayers are with you, too.
We are all rooting for you.