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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.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Such behavior cannot and will not be tolerated."

The Florida State Supreme Court continues to make a mockery of the justice system in Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A judge received a scolding Monday from the Florida Supreme Court for 14 admitted ethics violations, including unconstitutionally ordering a probationer to attend church, but he will be allowed to remain on the bench.

Circuit Judge Richard Albritton Jr. of Panama City declined comment after Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis warned him the high court would not be so mild if he failed to mend his ways.

"Your behavior is unacceptable," Lewis told Albritton, who stood silently beside his lawyer facing the seven justices. "It's a stain on all of us."

Albritton admitted the violations in an agreement with the Judicial Qualifications Commission that calls for him to receive the public reprimand, serve a 30-day unpaid suspension and pay a $5,000 fine and $1,203.70 in costs.
Judge Albritton is a former Knucklehead winner. So is Judge Lewis and the rest of the Florida State Supreme Court.

He initially was accused of 36 violations. He did not admit to the remaining 22 allegations, but they were cited in the Supreme Court opinion. In one instance he was accused of telling a woman in open court that she "needed to close her legs and stop having babies," the justices wrote.

Other admitted violations included jailing a young mother because she was unable to remember her address, soliciting gifts and invitations to lunch, getting hunting trips from lawyers and demeaning a Department of Children & Families staffer because of her young age.

In other instances he asked parents in dependency cases whether they used drugs. If they answered no, he would order a drug test on the spot. If they tested positive he would have the parents jailed for contempt.

Albritton initially denied those and other allegations. He signed the agreement with the commission only after qualifying for judicial elections had closed in May and no challenger filed to oppose his re-election.

The Supreme Court accepted the agreement and ordered his suspension in June. It later wrote a 5-2 opinion explaining the decision with Justices Harry Lee Anstead and Barbara Pariente dissenting.

Anstead wrote that they would have returned the case to the commission for further proceedings because "there is substantial question as to whether this judge is presently fit to serve."

During the reprimand, Lewis said Albritton had told one of his staff lawyers that he realized ordering a probationer to go to church was unconstitutional but the defendant didn't know that.

"You abused your position by placing yourself above the law," Lewis told him.

After describing Albritton's request to a lawyer to make a donation for his going-away party, Lewis said "That's wrong."

"The type and degree of repetitive unacceptable behavior in which you engaged paints a picture of a personality that simply has failed to engage as a judicial officer," Lewis told him. "Such behavior cannot and will not be tolerated."

So Albritton is a liar, violates ethics and puts people in jail on a whim. Why Judge Lewis is this disgrace allowed to remain on the bench? Allowing Albritton to sit there unpunished only mocks the justice system you have sworn to uphold

Judge Lewis and the rest of those knuckleheads in Tallahassee better head the title of my post. A revolution is coming one day because of judicial corruption and stupidity. The people of Florida will only take so much.

Linked to- Mark My Words, Bright & Early,

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