Chief Judge: DUI Judges Have Been Reassigned To Non-Criminal Matters






On behalf of the 90 judges and 13 magistrates of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit and Broward County, I am providing the following comments.

In regard to the recent events involving three of our judges, the appropriate processes are under way to address the alleged criminal violations and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further, except to emphasize that the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court has appointed judges from outside of Broward County to preside over two of these cases and the third will be addressed in Palm Beach County where the alleged offense occurred. Also, I have reassigned the two judges currently serving on the bench to hear noncriminal matters.

Most importantly, I want to assure the people of Broward County that the judges serving you are hardworking, conscientious, and do not condone in any fashion any sort of impairment or substance abuse that would prevent their handling of each case that comes before them with the utmost care, consideration, and attention that every case deserves. We recognize that judges make serious decisions affecting people’s lives each day they are in court and that with that weighty responsibility comes a duty to be fully accountable. As chief judge, I will continue to work with all of our judges to ensure we meet our responsibilities to the public we serve in a manner that is worthy of the public’s trust and confidence.

Peter M. Weinstein, Chief Judge


11 Responses to “Chief Judge: DUI Judges Have Been Reassigned To Non-Criminal Matters”

  1. Anonymous says:

    They shouldn’t be in the courthouse at all. All three should not be performing the duties of a judge until this is clear.

  2. John Hart says:

    Peter, I am confident, as I have always been, that your insights, sense of fairness and concern for equal justice for every citizen of our county is never compromised.

  3. Broward Lawyer says:

    This is laughable. They should all be suspended without pay. Judge Weinstein speaks for himself ando no one else. He should also carry a division. The sooner he steps down as chief judge the better.

  4. Seth Sklarey says:

    Maybe we should have a JUI checkpoint at Court House door (Judging under the influence).

  5. What a joke ! says:

    I have only have a couple of questions, if any of these three judges were facing involuntary manslaughter of a child would they still have a job at the court house ?

    Would the Chief Justice still think they should hold a position in the court house ?

    I Understand, the Chief Justice believes they dererve their position and that we as a society shouldn’t lose faith in the system but I have.
    Would the Chief Justice’s opinion would still apply if ithese situations were more severe ?

  6. Unemployed Lawyer (retired) says:

    @John Hart

    Which one of Peter’s sons are you?

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    If you seek the suspension of judges without pay, don’t look to the local Chief Judge. He does not have the authority to do this.

    The Florida Constitution limits that to the Supreme Court. [It should be interesting to see if The Supremes suspend the Brevard judge who is on video/audio starting a fistfight with the P.D. ]

    Also keep in mind that if three judges are suspended then the remaining judges have to do their work. That does not seem fair to them or litigants seeking to have their cases heard expeditiously.

  8. I disagree Sam says:

    Then again has it been fair to the attorneys and litigants when all 90 judges were working that Weinsten did then and continues to bring in retired Judges at $350 a day to hear cases? Those in the Courthouse know few Judges work a real 40 hour work week, so let them double up and pitch in. Why are tax dollars used for this?

    Your comment above is almost a threat, if you suspend these Judges, everyone will pay. Really?

    Why should litigants pay because other sitting Judges would be inconvenienced by picking up work from the others? Isnt that what we pay them for?

    The other problem with Weinstien’s over use of retired judges is there is no true recourse if they screw up. They do not come before the voters and quite honestly it is not like they are losing their cushy pensions if the 4th DCA finds they did something wrong.

    JAABLOG has been right for years. Start checking unused courtrooms and focusing on the Judges who do little or no work. Expose these slacking Judges let so they EARN the hard earned taxpayer dollars we are paying them.

  9. Fields Is An Idiot says:

    Fields is an idiot. Judges charged with a crime should continue sit in court because to remove them would place a burden on other judges. Would that be true, Fields, if they were charged with a DUI with fatalities or they were charged with beating up their spouse? I repeat. Fields is an idiot.

  10. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear FIAI

    If judges are charged with a felony they will undoubtedly be immediately suspended pending the outcome of the case.

    But even if they are acquitted they face a JQC investigation that could lead to the Supreme Court removing them from office.

    As for retired judges getting paid $350 a day (I thought it was less but will take your number)that is less than the $400 AN HOUR they can earn doing private mediation!!!
    Notwithstanding years of experience, it’s less than they were earning on the bench.

    Yes, they draw the $350 along with their pension. Exactly how many would or should be expected to do it for free?

    While being lazy may be one reason a judges courtroom is empty, there are a hundred other reasons. [Every business has a few lazy people. If you don’t know who it is in your shop…it’s probably you!]

    For example, he is working in his chambers.

    All too often a judge blocks out a number of days for a trial that settles when the litigants and their lawyers have an epiphany that their case is about to decided by six people who couldn’t figure out how to get out of jury duty!

    Now he has to get the next case lined up and that usually means losing a courtroom for a day.

    Maybe it is a Thursday afternoon and there are no jurors left and none are being brought in for Friday. So now you loose two days.

    You want conveyor belt justice? I suggest you go to Egypt where they tried, convicted and sentenced 600+ folks to death in a day or so.

    Although it is a co-equal branch of government, the judiciary takes up about 2% of our tax dollars. It’s a bargain.

    People who thinks that empty courtrooms mean a lazy judge don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

  11. lol says:

    Every retired judge working in the ch couldn’t get hired as a mediator on a good day. That is why they are there .