Here’s a really interesting situation. A state judge in Florida has had formal charges filed against her by an investigative body of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission for selling religious items in the courthouse, often to lawyers appearing before her. The judge has a side business called Gaza Road Ministries
The Investigate Panel of the, Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, at its meeting of October 4,2012, by a vote of the majority of its members, pursuant to Rule 6(f) of the Rules of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission and Article V, Section 12(b) of the Constitution of the State of Florida, finds that probable cause exists for formal proceedings to be instituted against you…
2. On the slideshow page of the website, the first picture is of you in judicial robes sitting on the Leon County Court bench. Two other pictures in the slideshow also show you in judicial robes.
3. In addition you have sold or attempted to sell your books, study guides, and other publications in the Leon County courthouse, in the parking garage of the courthouse, in your Chambers, and even in the Courtroom in which you preside.
The purchasers of your books and other publications include attorneys who regularly appear before you and court staff. There is a disparity in authority between your position and those to whom you have sold within the courthouse.
4. You use your Leon County email account, your Judicial Assistant, and your office spaces and equipment within the Leon County Courthouse to create, edit and promote the products you have for sale through Gaza Road Ministries…
6. Your involvement with Gaza Road Ministries has caused you to devote less than your full time and full attention to your judicial duties. You have explained that as a judge, you and your Judicial Assistant have a great deal of free time, so you feel free to use your judicial chambers and out-of-court free time to conduct your for profit private business, and schedule business appointments. You often take time away from your judicial duties to promote your business to the detriment of the prompt and efficient administration of justice.
These are just charges at this point, but it sounds pretty obvious to me.
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