Former School Board Member New Head of Board That Picks Judges





Former School Board member Kevin Tynan is the new chair of the nine-member Judicial Nominating Commisssion for Broward, which recommends who the governor should appoint as judges.


KEVIN2Kevin Tynan



A specialist in legal ethics, Tynan was appointed to the Board by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009 to replace member Bev Gallagher.  Gallagher was arrested and later convicted of corruption.

Tynan lost his 2010 election to hold his School Board seat.

A former Broward Republican chair, Tynan was appointed to the JNC in 2011 by Gov. Rick Scott.  He also was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 to serve on the South Broward Hospital District Commission, the governing board of the Memorial Healthcare System.

The new vice chair is Zachariah “Reggie” Zachariah, a lawyer and the son of well-heeled Republican fundraiser and philanthropist Dr. Zachariah Zachariah, a Holy Cross hospital cardiologist.

The new chair and vice chair’s first order of business is to help recommend candidates to fill the seat of retiring Broward County Judge Gary Cowart.   The JNC forwards their recommendations to the governor, who picks the new judge from that list.

Here is the notice on the opening created by Cowart’s retirement (click to enlarge):


Cowart opening

cowart 2




8 Responses to “Former School Board Member New Head of Board That Picks Judges”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    Kevin Tynan was a defense character witness for his buddy Steve Gonot, who was sentenced to a year in jail for public corruption.

    That’s all you ever need to know about Tynan.

  2. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Charlie Crist will soon kick Tynan’s ass out of the JNC, along with Zachariah and all the other Republican appointees.


    Doubtful Tynan and the GOP appointees will be kicked out, but they might not be reappointed when their terms expire. Tynan’s term is through July 1, 2015.

  3. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    I take a bad photo but this guy looks like a sleazy lawyer or madoffs accountant.


    Let’s see a photo of you.

  4. Sam Fields says:

    I won a bet with myself as to who would make the first gratuitous snarky remark about Kevin Tynan.

    Thanks Chaz, I owe myself a beer.

    Notwithstanding Mr. Stevens, Kevin Tynan is a great guy who has displayed only the highest levels of professionalism and integrity in the years that I have known him personally and professionally.

    He is held in the highest respect by the folks who run the Florida Bar (Insert smartass bon mot here) which is why his advice and representation his sought out by lawyers who have issues.

    As for being a character witness for Steve Gonot let me say the following:

    1.I wouldn’t know Steve Gonot if he walked in my door.

    2.Nevertheless, I followed the case and I am convinced that he was a victim of a gross miscarriage of justice in regard to the felony of stealing from his campaign account…filing false reports he got was he deserved.

    3.I assume Gonot and Tynan are friends. I further assume that Kevin has the character to judge Gonot on a lifetime of work and not on one bad act.

    Apparently, Chaz thinks we should throw friends under the bus the first time they make a mistake.

    I will be nominating Chaz for the 2014 David Greenglass Award. (If you don’t know who that is see today’s NYT obits.)

    I have no doubt that Kevin will do a great and fair job on the JNC. He doesn’t know any other way.


    Mark down this day. I agree with Sam Fields…for a change.

    Kevin Tynan’s defense of Steven Gonot means nothing. Tynan is an attorney. Attorneys defend folks accused of wrongdoing. Its their job.

    I believe Mr. Tynan’s ethics to be beyond reproach. He is one of the good ones.

  5. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    I know Kevin Tynan personally and have for years. He’s a good human being, a good lawyer and a very decent man. You might agree or disagree with his politics, he and I often do that. But he’s most certainly a qualified and honorable man.

    Putting aside that he’s been a party leader, and I’m not true that such designations eliminate you from doing anything further in life, they could easily have appointed any number of people for that important job. In picking Kevin we at least got somebody qualified. I mean, compare him to Scott Rothstein for crying out loud!

    The test for him and all of these committees is picking the BEST applicants irrespective of their party label. That is always the test that every JNC must pass. Some pass that sniff test and others fail.

    My own preference would be selecting panels of retired judges at random and calling them into being every time there’s a vacancy. Three retired judges get picked by lottery for every vacancy that happens, they review applications based on guidelines that involve no partisan preference, lots of examination into qualifications and temperament, they pick three names and somebody has to choose from among the three.

    I’m confident this would result in a better overall judiciary for the state, but that’s not the system we have in Florida.



    Kevin Tynan is eminently qualified to serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission and to be its chair. The JNC couldn’t have a better member.

  6. Well Said says:

    I do not believe trotting out retired judges to pick the next group of judicial candidates is a well thought out plan….could you imagine ex congressmen picking out the next group of congressional candidates?
    Blows the mind…..

  7. Commisioner Angelo Castillo says:

    To Well Said,

    The difference between your scenario and mine is that Members of Congress are legislative representatives. We vote for them because they represent us legislatively. They campaign on the issues and the notion is we pick the ones who we like most on that basis.

    Another difference is that the US Constitution requires Members of Congress to be elected. There is no such requirement for judges. As to state judges, there is a wide variety of ways they run or are appointed. No one rule there, unlike with federal judges.

    Another difference is that with judges, unlike legislative reps, they can’t talk about the issues. Professional bar standards don’t permit it, so voting for them is kinda’ pointless since we can’t assess them in that way. Most voters are forced to elect a judge on what ethnicity or other superficial inference they can guess from their names.

    Federal judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. We don’t vote for them.

    I’d be the first to say there is no perfect way to select judges. Retired judges got to retire because they went through the rigor of a career as a judge. They at least know what to look for in an applicant, and what to avoid in terms of experience or temperament gaps.

    That’s why I favor that method, I think would result in a better judiciary for our state. Also because I believe that it’s undignified for a judge to run for office, and be forced as they are to raise money from the lawyers who will practice before them. Not that this diminishes my respect for any so elected, I do respect them.

    Now, reasonable people can disagree on this point and I value all points of view on it because few know of a perfect means for selecting judges.

    Speaking of more perfect by the way, let me ask you this.

    In connection with the process we have now, how well is that going for you?

    What ways do you think are best? I’m always open to a better idea.



  8. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @7 – Here’s a better way. Each month, the procedure defined below is used to fill all judicial vacancies arising during the preceding month:

    All candidates must satisfy an objective set of published preconditions, such as

    a) US citizen
    b) Member of Florida Bar Association in good standing

    Candidates must then provide correct answers to a set of published questions. These may be either questions of fact limited to the candidate’s professional qualifications (which must be answered truthfully) or questions of law (which must be answered to the best of the candidate’s ability). These answers are submitted electronically as text. No handwritten responses or non-textual responses are permitted.

    Candidate preconditions and candidate answers to questions of fact are then verified (fact-checked) by the Supervisor of Judicial Vacancies (SoJV – an office similar to that of the Supervisor Of Elections). After rejecting all applicants who fail the fact-checking process, the SoJV then constructs a candidate profile for each qualified candidate – this consists of a unique candidate identifier along with the candidate’s verified answers to the set of published candidate questions.

    Candidate profiles are then evaluated by a Judicial Nominating Committee having seven seats, filled each month by these designated organizations:

    Seat 1 – Florida Bar Association
    Seat 2 – American Civil Liberties Union
    Seat 3 – Republican Party of Florida
    Seat 4 – Democratic Party of Florida
    Seat 5 – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    Seat 6 – Equality Florida
    Seat 7 – Roosevelt Institute

    Selection is based only upon the SoJV-generated candidate profile. The JNC members have no personal contact with the candidates and do not know the names of the candidates. JNC members know candidates only by the unique candidate identifiers assigned by the SoJV and by their personal answers to the published set of candidate questions. A supermajority of 5/7 is needed to select each nominee. There is no limit on the total number of nominees.

    Once all the qualified candidates have been evaluated, the resulting set of nominees is subjected to the random selection process currently used by the Florida Lottery, whereby a single nominee is randomly selected from the total number of nominees to fill a single vacancy. The selected nominee then becomes a judge, filling that single vacancy. The random selection process is then repeated upon the remaining nominees as necessary until all vacancies are filled or the nominee pool becomes empty. Should the nominee pool become empty while vacancies remain, the vacancy is carried over into the following month.

    The set of candidate preconditions and the set of candidate questions may be edited by the JNC. Each addition, deletion or modification must occur by a supermajority of 5/7.