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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Judge Eileen O'Connor news

She's back in the news again. If you recall she is the Broward County judge who jailed a potential juror for lying in her courtroom. Not long afterwards it was learned Judge O'Connor had lied on her judicial application.

The Knucklehead has now decided to c0-operate with the Florida Judicaial Qualifications Commission by allowing all her employment records when she was a prosecutor to be turned over. I will say it again, if she lied the woman should be removed from the bench.

Hat tip- Indefensible

Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor says she will turn over her entire personnel file from her years as a federal prosecutor to a state ethics panel that is investigating her application for a judgeship in 2003.

O'Connor's attorney says that he requested all of her employment records -- including any workplace complaints -- from the U.S. Department of Justice and that the judge was willing to share them with the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The Herald reported in May that O'Connor failed to disclose on her judicial application that two of her employees had filed discrimination complaints against her when she worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office. O'Connor, who managed the U.S. attorney's Fort Lauderdale division, has denied that any ''formal complaints'' were lodged against her by fellow employees.

''Judge O'Connor wants the truth to come out,'' said her attorney, Michael Tein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami. ``If the JQC wants her file, she will give them everything she gets from the government.''

Last month, O'Connor rejected demands by the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP and others to remove herself from the Broward court's criminal division and to turn over at least two discrimination complaints filed against her that were uncovered by The Herald.

Two prosecutors under O'Connor's supervision lodged racial and religious discrimination complaints against her in 2000 and 2001, according to six sources familiar with them. The

Department of Justice settled the religious case for about $10,000 in September 2002.

The state judicial application asked O'Connor whether she had ever been the subject of a ''formal complaint or application of misconduct'' in her workplace, and she answered ''no.'' Later that year, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her to the opening on the Broward Circuit Court.

Her failure to disclose those complaints was a possible violation of the code of conduct that bars judicial candidates from misrepresenting themselves, whether they are seeking appointment by the governor or running for a seat on the bench.

The Department of Justice's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, which has O'Connor's employment records, said the state judicial panel could request and likely obtain her personnel file. But obtaining any workplace complaints could prove more difficult -- even with the state panel's subpoena powers -- because of exemptions under the federal Freedom of Information and Privacy acts.

''It's a case-by-case call,'' said Garry Stewart, a staff attorney, adding that he could not confirm or deny that any complaints exist against O'Connor. ``The easiest way for that board to get any records at all would be to get authorization from the individual.''


But even if O'Connor releases her employment file and gives permission to the Justice Department to disclose any complaints, any federal prosecutors who accused her of discrimination would have to give their approval, too, according to Stewart.

The state judicial panel would not comment on O'Connor's case. But speaking generally, staff general counsel Tom MacDonald said: ``We cannot get these records without their permission.''

A prominent former Florida judge said the question about past workplace conduct on the state's judicial application was intended to measure a candidate's character -- impartiality, demeanor and temperament -- to be a judge.

''If I were filling out an application to be a judge, and those were the facts, I would disclose them,'' said Gerald Kogan, a former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. ``You would want to know about the past problems the individual has had to see if they were qualified to be a judge.''

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