Two-Time Loser Wants Appointment As Judge





Former Broward County Court Judge Julio E. Gonzalez Jr. wants his old job back. 

Appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006, Gonzalez then lost his seat as a judge in the 2008 election. He has been recommended by the Broward Judicial Nominating Commission for reappointment.

The JNC has recommended Gov. Rick Scott consider Gonzalez’s reappointment in the past, including earlier this year.  

Gonzalez was one of the lawyers recommended to replace retired Circuit Judge Alfred Horowitz in January.  Instead, Scott chose Tarlika Nunez Navarro, a former Broward prosecutor.

Now, Gonzalez has yet another shot at the gold ring. Scott again has Gonzalez’s name on his desk, this time as one of six JNC recommendations to fill the opening caused by the resignation of Circuit Judge Merrilee Ehrlich.



Julio E. Gonzalez Jr.



Gonzalez has a lot going for him. 

He is not only a former prosecutor, but today is the chief lawyer for the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.  Being police-friendly is a trait Scott appears to favor based on his previous judicial appointments of prosecutors.

Gonzalez also has GOP-cred, having been appointed by Bush and having been defeated in 2008 by a Democrat-led move to toss Republicans (and most particularly, Hispanics) off the Broward bench. 

He also was beaten by a hair in 2012 when he ran for Circuit Court. He lost to Laura Marie Watson by 50.9 to 49.1 percent.

Watson was later removed from the bench and permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court after information surface about her conduct before becoming a judge. It was disclosed that she had secretly negotiated an improper settlement which paid her firm $3 million while giving other lawyers peanuts and clients only $360,000.

Obviously Gonzalez is well-qualified.  He is not only a former Brooklyn and Miami-Dade prosecutor, but has the unique experience of serving roughly two years as a judge. 

If experience was all that matters to the governor, Gonzalez would be a front runner. 

But there is a shadow hanging over Gonzalez.  He is a two-time loser.  

Broward voters have rejected him twice — in 2008 and 2012.   

Will the governor take those losses into consideration?

We will soon see. 


Other Courthouse News


Broward County Court Judge Robert Lee has a lot going for him. He touches some of the big tribal voting blocs being Hispanic and openly gay.  Most of all, he is known around the courthouse as a very, very good judge.

Appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1997, Lee is probably best known for his role as one of the officials in charge of the 2000 Presidential Recount in Broward. Next week Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, a lawyer and veteran gay activist,  hosts a campaign fundraiser for Lee.


Lee’s opponent is Stephen Lustig, a traffic ticket attorney.



Judge Bob Diaz’s #MeToo Moment 


Earlier this month when the Sun-Sentinel’s editorial board recommended that County Judge Bob Diaz should not be reelected.

One reason:  He was condescending to women in his courtroom, calling them “Miss” despite their objections.

Assistant State Attorney Adriana Alcalde and a female public defender complained when Diaz continued to call her “Miss” despite their objections.

Alcalde says the judge is mistaken. In a text to Browardbeat, she wrote:

“I was surprised to read that Judge Diaz made a statement saying that he called me.  He has never called me.  I would have accepted a sincere apology from him and moved on. 


Adriana Alcalde 


“I have known Judge Diaz for many years.  I have attended his mentoring luncheons. I have taught at seminars with him.  I am saddened to have to see a fellow Hispanic judge targeted because of his treatment of women. The main issue was that he stated he knew my name and continued to refuse to address me by my name, something I felt was disrespectful. 

“I was very surprised by his treatment, considering I had always had a very cordial relationship with him. I wish he had called and we could have had a productive discussion on the issue and maybe both learned and grown from the exchange. 

“Again, I hate to see a fellow Hispanic judge targeted, and one I have known for a very long time, but this is bigger than that.  I can not let the people of Broward County believe he called me to discuss this, because he never did.  I have seen him at several judicial events after that and he has never even approached me to say hello, much less discuss this issue.” 



6 Responses to “Two-Time Loser Wants Appointment As Judge”

  1. DAVID Brown says:

    I have known JULIO GONZALEZ for many years. He is bright,dedicated to the law, and treats all people with respect. He would be a fine addition to the BROWARD judiciary.
    The BROWARD Judicial Nominating Commission has twice declared him well qualified now it is the governor’s turn to do something right for BROWARD.

  2. Tell The Truth says:

    Wwhy so important to post the preferences of some candidates? Is Gonzalez openly heterosexual? You didn’t mention that.

  3. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Julio Gonzalez is a winner in my book. During his time as a judge his performance was very well respected by those practicing before him. Indeed, in a very short time, he was considered one of our best judges. That’s very high praise coming from lawyers themselves, prosecutors and defense attorneys alike.

    He is an expert in evidence. He has incredibly good temperament and understanding of the law. His trial experience prepared him exceptionally well to manage any trial and he performs to the highest judicial standards of fairness and compliance. Very simply he was an excellent judge.

    Being Hispanic, given the diversity of our population is an added plus and by no means a negative. He is a man of high character and ability. Judge Gonzalez will serve this community very well again if selected. I know him personally and recommend him without reservation.


  4. Rico Petrocelli says:

    I have known Julio for years, and have always found him to be Professional, and well liked as a person & friend. If he was on the ballot I would vote for him. I’m hoping he gets the Appointment from the Governor. He is more than able to perform…. Good luck Julio…

    Rico Petrocelli

  5. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I see u point out Mayor Trantalis is having a fund raiser for him..Heard Mayor Trantalis name alot lately esp. after this past Tuesday comm.mmeting.Oh Trantalis threw Comm.Glassman under the bus with his stating Glassman was playing to the audience etc.Word on the street is the majoriry in the audience were shocked.Dean enough of your fundraisers treat Glassman with kid gloves because he is all u got.Forget about endorsing this one ir that one concentrate on Ft.Lau.

  6. Been There says:

    There is a reason why Bob Diaz has had an opponent every time. He put on his robe everyday and thinks it makes him King. He is super rude every day.