Part Two: Ilene Lieberman Doesn’t Belong On The Bench


Imagine a judge that received immunity to testify in a corruption case.

Imagine a judge who was absent from work for months last year for “health reasons” that she has never really explained.

Then imagine a judge who has been the center of controversy her entire public life – from ethics complaints against her to public shouting matches with her colleagues. And let’s not forget allegations that she was influence peddling when she was a paid lobbyist for a developer.

Then imagine County Judge Ilene Lieberman.


Only in Broward.

Only in Broward would a politician with such a flawed record attempt to be elected as a judge.

It’s a disgrace when there are so many more qualified lawyers with sterling reputations who have no hope of  becoming a judge.  But Lieberman, who I believe is a second-rate lawyer and a third-rate individual, will probably win.

As TV reporter Bob Norman puts it on his Channel 10 blog, “The only experience I’ve seen she’s had in the justice system is as a listed witness in the criminal corruption case against her former friend, Tamarac Mayor Beth Talabisco.”

The woman running against Lieberman has real courtroom experience:  Kathleen McHugh is a former public defender and a courtroom veteran.

McHugh has represented clients in more than 100 jury trials.

“I’ve have practical experience,” McHugh said. “I don’t know how many jury trials she’s had.”

My guess: zero.

Unfortunately, its politics that counts. Lieberman is a lifelong politician who knows the rope.  McHugh is a political amateur.

McHugh has already made a mistake, in my opinion, by hiring a weak political consultant.  And she has spent too much of her money upfront.

Lieberman is said to be using veteran consultant Judy Stern. This is the same Lieberman who told me years ago that Stern was a blight on the county commission.  Hmmmm.

When asked about being in a race with Lieberman, McHugh said, “I am not dissuaded by it. In my heart I know I’m the better candidate.”

She’s right. Unfortunately, Lieberman is the better politician.

That what counts in election’s. And that’s tragic for the Broward judiciary.

20 Responses to “Part Two: Ilene Lieberman Doesn’t Belong On The Bench”

  1. Not So Fast says:

    Conventional Wisdom says she beats McHugh, based on her political experience and her political contacts.
    But, aren’t local political primaries made up mostly of super voters? If I am correct, how many voters will know of her negatives and vote for McHugh by default?

    FROM BUDDY: You are right about super voters dominating the primary. We will have to wait to see how they vote. Remember that Lieberman will have plenty of money from those doing business with the county, i.e., lobbyists, to put her message in their mail boxes.

  2. Git R Done says:

    Boy Buddy, you are absolutely correct on this one!!!

  3. a long fall says:

    Wow 2012 Team Stern, Lieberman, Chris Mancini and Julio Gonzlaez. Quite a long fall in 6 years when Stern controlled the majority of the Commission, the Sheriff and every candidate begged for her services. You reap what you sow and Karma is a bitch.

  4. Floridan says:

    Again, why are we electing judges?

    Or, for that matter, the Sheriff?

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I can’t even get a records request for her travel while every other commissioner has given me that info. This woman aka Bozo the clown, thinks she is above the law, due to the fact that she out manuvered the State Att.Mike Sachs-Good for you lady, who cares.Run for Judge anything your heart desires but while you remain on the Commission you will follow suit weather you like it or not. I mean she cuts all her hair off(wait a minute) states she donates the frizzy red hair to some charity group(did you get a cut($$) of that to). This woman and esp. her ast. Bev Sracher the articect w/ thi s whole mess w/ Mayor Talabisco . You are no better than the Chaits maim who you introduced to Mayor Talabisco in th e first place. Where I come from you would get a beating you would never forget. An d tell bozo the clown aka Comm.Lieberman to get me my records request and enough w/ your nonsense. Bring it on….. All Lieberman needs is a red rubber ball over her nose(perfect fit)

  6. at least says:

    At least she is not a total greedy pig like Feren. Feren couldnt even hack it as a Juvi Judge now he has disappeared. At least in county court they will probably move her to west satellite where she can preside over traffic tickets and small claims matters like mango theft cases.

  7. Plain Language says:

    Judges should never be elected because they cannot run campaigns in a traditional sense. It is an insult to voters to ask them to choose which judge is best to serve in so important a role when they can hardly speak as they “run” for office. This is why judges should be appointed on the basis of merit in some politically independent and respectable way. Like by randomly selected panels of retired judges. They know best what to look for in candidates for judge. Voters do not and still don’t.

  8. Observation From The Courthosue says:

    The sequence of events is that Lieberman’s husband worked for developers Chait. Lieberman supported developer Chait. The State Attorney starts questioning Lieberman about her involvement with the Chaits. Lieberman friend Beverely Stracher saw something . The State Attorney questioned her. Then Lieberman hired Stracher for a county job. Lieberman and Scracher story now blames Beth Talabisco for corruption in Tamarac. Lieberman and Stracher walk free. Talabisco’s case is thrown out of court. Lieberman runs for judge.

  9. Sam the Sham says:

    It is the Florida Bar Association that keeps Judicial candidates from normal campaigning. It is the Florida Bar that does not allow the normal vetting of candidates. The Florida Bar is an association of attorneys with their own special interests at heart, not the electorate and certainly not criminal justice. The next time someone says that judges should be appointed because voters are too ignorant to choose the best candidate, ask them exactly why that is.

    Attorneys think of themselves as superior beings (Sam Fields is an excellent case in point) and should not have to stoop to the level of the ordinary voter to be elected. That is why they want to be appointed by other attorneys and judges. They want to disenfranchise the voting public and rely on their “good old boy” club to separate them from the great unwashed.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if some rogue attorney brought suit to the Bar under RICO statutes for electioneering and vote manipulation?

    Now, watch how the attorneys will answer this post and pontificate why their holier than thou selves are much smarter than you or I.

  10. Citizen says:

    Aren’t most supervoters that because of longevity and turnout? They’ll know the score and vote accordingly. McHugh stands more than a chance.

  11. Judicial Conduct Rules says:

    Canon 3B(4) of the Code of Judicial Conduct requires that a judge “shall be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals with in an official capacity”. McHugh would be wise to pull the tapes from the County Commission meetings. Wonder if there are examples which conflict with this Canon.

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    If I didn’t read it I wouldn’t believe it. I thought a judge was supposed to “honor” the law not “break” it. I wish I could climb into “her” head and figure out what makes her tick. I’m sure the mental health industry could learn something. BUDDY thank you for telling it like it is. It’s about time the people of Broward County wake up to the REAL Ilene Lieberman. One more thing, wasn’t she mentioned is some sort of garbage contract with the city? Let’s see now, garbage, Ilene, that fits.


    […] Broward The BLOG COMMENT OF THE DAY award goes to “at least” who chimed in over at Buddy Nevins’ post on why Ilene Lieberman should not be a judge got this […]

  14. Panda Bear says:

    Come on now, everybody. Sing along with me:
    The beat goes on, the beat goes on,
    Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain.
    La de da de de, la de da de da

  15. Suzanne says:

    The only better candidate would be Ana Gardiner. Now there’s a piece of work!

  16. One better says:

    I believe that Shelia Alu would be the perfect candidate. Sometimes freindships shouldnt get in the way of justice…

  17. One better says:

    Friendships typo

  18. Ron Dennis says:

    Ok, so you voted McHugh into the judge’s office and look what you have – a whiny, stupid, arrogant, little snot who orders an innocent man to jail for a month because someone in her courtroom snickers (probably more at her than at anything). Good job, Broward – glad she’s not my problem.

  19. Right in ron says:

    Maybe someone could explain since the judge is legally blind how she could see the but slap and Johnson’s alleged lack of seriousness

  20. Parishioner says:

    @Ron – it was the lesser of two evils and although I admired her at times on dais, putting her in judge robes was not something I would do with my vote. her alligences continue to run strong and deep TODAY for the same special interests she held and supported 20 years on dais. I’ll leave it at that.

    @One Better – I understand the statue on electing or appointing judges requires 10 years post Bar licensing. Does Alu have that> Maybe. But there are better, more qualified, more learned attorneys out there that deserve it. Not hundreds perhaps, but at least a few dozen!