Seminole County Judge John Sloop is back in the news.
SANFORD -- For a time, it appeared Seminole County Judge John Sloop would safely keep his job. Now, that's up in the air. The Florida Supreme Court has ordered him to appear in Tallahassee Nov. 3 to explain why he shouldn't be removed from office.Judge Sloop is a fool. Just ask Clarence Darrow.
Sloop, 57, is being disciplined because two years ago he ordered 11 people to jail for going to the wrong courtroom by mistake.
A state panel that polices judges had a two-day hearing in March in Sanford, during which Sloop admitted he'd made a mistake and apologized. He blamed his conduct on attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
The panel later specifically asked the Florida Supreme Court not to kick him off the bench.
Instead, the six-member panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission said the high court should suspend him without pay for 90 days, make him pay the estimated $20,000 for a temporary replacement and face public reprimand.
That recommendation was a victory for Sloop. He agreed to skip a step -- oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court, where he could make one final plea for mercy.
But the high court on Thursday ordered him to appear. In a one-page order, it directed him and prosecutor Lauri Ross to explain at that hearing "whether removal from office is the appropriate sanction for the judicial misconduct in this case."
Sloop could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Although it was not part of the Judicial Qualifications Commission case, Sloop had ordered another set of defendants -- seven people -- jailed for the same mix-up on Dec. 2, 2004, the day before the 11 were locked up.
Sloop will act as his own attorney before the high court, according to court pleadings.
TFM still doesn't believe the Florida State Supreme Court will remove Sloop from the bench. Seminole and Broward Counties aren't the only places in Florida with knuckleheads sitting on the bench. There are seven of them in Tallahassee who believe themselves and their colleagues are above the law.
Linked to- Uncooperative Blogger, Bright & Early, Stop the ACLU,