BY BUDDY NEVINS
Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal shouldn’t have gone to work today.
Instead of presiding over a trial, she became the third Broward County judge was busted for DUI in recent weeks.
The judge told sheriff’s deputies that she had been taking Ambien, a potent prescription sleeping medicine.
If she was taking Ambien, she might beat the DUI charges. Apparently it is not illegal to drive under the influence of Ambien, according to the article here.
Rosenthal was arrested after allegedly colliding with a parked sheriff’s vehicle. Sources say 30 or 40 BSO employees witnessed the collision.
She earlier had an accident on Interstate 595, claiming a truck tried to force her off the road, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office report.
Rosenthal was handcuffed and taken into custody at the entrance to the courthouse parking area for judges.
Rosenthal being handcuffed outside the courthouse (photo: JAAblog)
One highly placed political source said Rosenthal had been taking Ambien because the stress of her re-election campaign prevented her from sleeping.
“If she can’t campaign without taking pills, she shouldn’t be a judge,” the source opined.
If the police are correct –I don’t automatically think they are because I’ve seen too many political dirty tricks and trumped up charges in the past. – she was going to work stoned. Whether it is Ambien or booze, it really doesn’t matter.
She was about to take the bench impaired!
Two other Broward judges are awaiting DUI charges:
*Cynthia Imperato, who was arrested allegedly driving drunk in November 2013 incident in Boca Raton.
*Gisele Pollack, who has been suspended by the Florida Supreme Court last week after a DUI arrest and allegations she was drunk on the bench.
Today’s charges were a political earthquake that rocked the Broward Bar.
Rosenthal was one of the few incumbents facing a re-election challenge and today’s arrest puts in doubt what was expected to be her easy re-election. Rosenthal will now face challenger Frantz “Jahra” McLawrence with a DUI charge hanging over her head. Even if the DUI charges are dropped, going to work stoned on Ambien is not the most acceptable qualifications for judicial office.
Appointed to the bench less than a year ago by Gov. Rick Scott, Rosenthal is a former Assistant U. S. Attorney.
I don’t know if any of these women are guilty of driving when drunk. If they are, maybe Chief Judge Peter Weinstein should consider a new innovation for the courthouse: Its own daily AA meeting, to supplement the weekly ones now held at Public Defender Howard Finkelstein’s office.
And maybe Weinstein can arrange to have some warm milk and a comfy pillow delivered to Rosenthal’s home. That way maybe she can get a good night’s sleep and not come to work stoned on Ambien.
Here is the police report: 3959_001
Judge Lynn Rosenthal at Memorial Day ceremony in Tamarac yesterday (Photo: Tamaratalk.com, Coralspringstalk, com)