Ana Gardiner Quits Bench; Gets Private Job


Broward Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner has quit the bench and is joining the law firm of former U. S. Attorney Tom Scott.

Ana Gardiner

“I’m excited by the opportunity,” Gardiner said today. “It’s a perfect fit for me.”

Gardiner’s resignation letter to Gov. Charlie Crist was sent on Wednesday.  She confirmed it was received.

Her resignation is effective May 28.

Gardiner resignation comes amid an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is examining whether she had discussions outside of court with prosecutor Howard Scheinberg in a murder case.  She is also under investigation for not being truthful with the JQC about her relationship with Scheinberg.

Gardiner said she was happy to put the controversy surrounding the JQC investigation behind her.

“Its been three long years,” Gardiner said. “I am full of energy and looking forward to working again in the private sector.”

Under an agreement with the JQC, the investigation will be dropped in return for a pledge by Gardiner not to run for judge again and not to take future work as a senior judge, according to David Bogenschutz, Gardiner’s lawyer.

“These kind of settlements are very common with the JQC,” Bogenschutz said.

Gardiner was one of the best known Hispanic activists in Broward when she was appointed to the bench by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1998. Chiles had earlier appointed her to the North Broward Hospital District governing board in 1993.

Gardiner said she was looking forward to “getting back to working with the Hispanic community and the legal community.”

She said she would actively support “some of my colleagues” running for re-election.

Although Tom Scott does some high-profile criminal work including representing former Sheriff Ken Jenne,  Cole, Scott and Kissane is s civil litigation firm with 155 lawyers spread out across Florida.  Gardiner will work in the Plantation office with a dozen other lawyers.

Here is an earlier post I did about Gardiner’s JQC troubles.

No word on what the Florida Bar, which is separate from the JQC,  is doing.

Statement of Ana Gardiner:

21 Responses to “Ana Gardiner Quits Bench; Gets Private Job”

  1. Lawyer says:

    So she gets to keep her bar ticket and her pension. This is so wrong. She should have been disbarred for lying to the JQC.

  2. Ana is HOT says:

    What she said was:

    “I’m excited by the opportunity,” ….“It’s a perfect fit for me.”

    What she MEANS is she is excited by the opportunity to meat new men who will be a fit for her.

    Good Luck Ana

  3. Ana Fan says:

    Ana’s a good judge brought down by a misguided assistant state attorney. She will be an asset to her new firm and a loss to the courthouse.

  4. dk says:

    good luck, ana!

  5. Politico says:

    Shame on Ana. She should have known better. Voters need to demand better ethics from the elected.


    I agree. She should have known better.

    Ana is very smart and a good lawyer. She knows she shouldn’t have been associating with the prosecutor, regardless of whether they discussed the case.

    Remember, she has done a lot of good both in court and at the hospital district. I believe in second chances. She deserves one.

  6. casual observer says:

    I wish Ana the best.
    Though it seems as though she used very poor judgment, I am not going on the “bashing” bandwagon.
    While there are plenty of posters who have not sinned and have a sack of stones, I will pray that she moves on and learns from this.

  7. Ft Laud Attorney says:

    At the end of the day I don’t much care about how much good she did on the bench. Let her keep her pension as this was criminal. But disbar her and Howard for life. This was a death case and their conduct was beyond disgusting and unethical. Then they lied to cover it up and send a man (likely even a guilty one) to his death after a highly tainted trial. She should never be allowed to practice law again.


    It is the most objectional defendants that must be protected by the law.

    The defendant at the center of the Ana Gardiner case was a scumbag. No doubt, he was guilty of murder.

    But what makes America different from other countries is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Finding someone guilty means following the rules and proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. If I was a juror and found out that the prosecutor was socializing with the judge, I would have a doubt.

    Ana Gardiner deserves a second chance. But she is resourceful enough to survive and thrive no matter what happens to her.

  8. Crist will appoint says:

    OK, Now, who will the soon-to-be-independent-maybenot-ex-governor appoint?

    There are plenty of potential candidates in the races to choose from. He could choose some hispanic women to replace.

    Gonzalez-Levine is one.
    There are others.

    Lets see how quickly he responds cuz courthouse needs that judge filled as soon as possible

  9. sunny skies shady people says:

    “The mere appearance of
    impropriety” and in the “abundance of caution” is the standard here. Any judge that does not know or adheres to this rule and willfully ignores this standard is not worthy of the position.

  10. the truth says:

    Ana is a liar and should be disbarred. What is the Bar going to do? I will make a Public records request and now see what the text msgs said, I bet she does not want that coming out.
    The big question is what is Aleida (Ali) Waldman going to do? She lost Ana, Ken Jenne, Scott Rothstein and her school board connections. Ali has been laying low since theFBI has been looking at her and asking questions. Maybe thats why Ronnie bought her that new house in Parkland.

  11. Notta_fan says:

    Buddy, how do you know she is a smart and very good lawyer? You know very well her “rise” had all to do with her connections to Jenne,Satz,her ex and those at the courthouse that protected her. She was and is arrogant and a elitist. The NBHD and “good-works” are not used in the same sentence, NBHD and cash-cow are. No, we just know this one incident with ana, what scares me are all the others that have not been exposed, Buddy a very wise man told me it is very difficult for a bad person to act good, he was right and ana is an example of that……BTW, do you really think karma is finished with her yet?

  12. Lady Law says:

    Notice how there is always allegations of sexual misconduct when discussing a female judge. We never read on these blogs that The Hon. Mr. X or Mr. Y is a male whore trying to bed every legal aide and female lawyer appearing before them. It is outright sexism. I also believe there is a degree of jealousy in these accusations by male lawyers, who have a fantasy sex live lived out on their computer.

  13. sunny skies shady people says:

    to lady law:
    i believe that ana wanted to prove that she can DO IT better then those “male whore” judges. it has nothing to do with sexism rather to outdo the “male whore judges. best of luck to her in miami where she’ll fit right in. the base line is that ana is a disgrace to the human race!

  14. Luzzo reprimand says:

    Levine is in a race against luzzo. He should stop bloging it all over the place. Serves him no purpose. Just embarassing

  15. David'sSin says:

    Why nothing about David Bogenschutz’s affair with Ana?
    He is living with her. Are you covering up?

  16. Billy Kidwell says:

    The Florida Judicial System has been irreparabily tanted with her corruption.

    The Florida Legal System has become a cess pool of corruption because of these “Deals” and the JQC is just as guilty as she is.

    You may notice that Scott’s Law Firm hires a lot of crooks.

  17. Hammer says:

    Too bad people don’t realize the horror she made of my pending case. Because of her misdeeds, my suit had to get restarted, which in turn, cost me more and more money. She can rot.

  18. GHOST BOOTS says:

    Well, well. The Bar got around to protecting the public. Gardiner was a judge when the acts occurred, and will thus be held to a higher standard than other lawyers. Commentary to Fla. Bar Rule 4-8.4 (“Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney.”). Even by the lower standards which might have applied were Gardiner merely an attorney at the time, the Bar and Supreme Court would show no more sympathy. A judge’s conduct involving dishonesty warrants discipline AS AN ATTORNEY, even if the misconduct did not involve a crime, deceit, immorality or moral turpitude. The Florida Bar v. Mogil, 763 So.2d 303 (2000) (disbarment). That Gardner’s dishonesty involved all of these–though an a fortiorari argument for the application of Mogil–is simply not the point. Gardiner’s relationships with ASAs appearing before her are exponentially more pernicious than the exploitation of a single lawyer-client relationship [as in The Florida Bar v. Senton, 882 So.2d 997 (Fla. 2004) (disbarment)], because, rather than denying one person justice in a civil case, Gardiner’s conduct wholly skewed any semblance of impartiality in cases wherein litigants were sentenced to prison and, in just the case cited in the complaint, to death. As though this were not enough, Gardiner’s intentional dishonesty and misrepresentation under oath–evidenced by her claim to have reviewed her cell phone records prior to making her false statements not to have had much contact with Scheinberg–makes a mockery out of our Judicial Branch at several levels. As the Supreme Court put it in The Florida Bar v. Rightmyer, 616 So.2d 953, 955 (Fla. 1993): “We can conceive of no ethical violation more damaging to the legal profession and process than lying under oath, for perjury strikes at the very heart of our entire system of justice–the search for the truth. An officer of the court who knowingly and deliberately seeks to corrupt the legal process can logically expect to be excluded from that process.” Moreover, § 837.02, Fla.Stat., defines the crime of Perjury (“Whoever makes a false statement, which he does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter shall be guilty of [perjury].”). Scheinberg’s boss, Michael Satz, as State Attorney, has a public duty to prosecute (and has indeed selectively prosecuted) violations of this criminal statute. Given Satz’s propensity for seeking the death penalty against a hot pastrami sandwich (provided the sandwich is not involved in public corruption), why would Satz not prosecute this clear-cut crime? Does it have to do with the fact that Gardiner is not poor and powerless, or the fact that Gardiner is Satz’s employee’s wench? Satz, Sheinberg, Gardiner and their like, consider themselves above the law doled out to the common citizen. The entire atmosphere at Satz’s office reeks of this. It is a hierarchy of boot-lickers supporting a culture diametrically opposed to the Truth or Justice they merely lip-synch; boots that need to be aired-out after decades of unbridled corruption.

  19. GHOST BOOTS says:

    Who’s licking Gardiner’s boots? Though the vast majority of criminal prosecutions never result in published appellate opinions, a quick look at reported appellate opinions during his most recent decade of selective prosecution, reveals Satz stands quite ready to charge those less privileged than Gardiner with perjury. Among his many perjury prosecutions, Satz has criminally charged a former legal secretary with perjury for a false representation in a bar complaint. Rutherford v. State, 939 So.2d 328 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). Satz has charged a defense witness to a neighborhood fight with perjury for making conflicting statements at deposition and trial. Pflaum v. State, 879 So.2d 93 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004). Satz saw to it that Pflaum was sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years probation. Id. Satz has charged a high school hall monitor with perjury when she falsely told a school board investigator under oath that she had not audiotaped a conference with an assistant school principal. Kearney v. State, 846 So.2d 618 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003). Satz has charged defense attorneys as principals to their client’s perjury in a civil case. State v. Mark Marks, P.A., 833 So.2d 249 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). There comes a time when even Satz’s subordinate boot-lickers need to face the Truth and honestly seek the Justice they only hypocritically—and selectively–whine about.

  20. Time For A Change? says:

    Very timely post, Ghost Boots. You are only about 8 months late!

  21. Disbarred today says:

    She may have worked at this job for a few years. Not anymore, at least not as a lawyer. She was permanently disbarred today.