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Hawkes resigns over Taj Mahal investigation

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Judge Paul Hawkes

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-994204.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – First District Court Judge Paul Hawkes is resigning in the face of an ethics complaint over his role in the construction of a new 50-million dollar courthouse some call the Taj Mahal. Regan McCarthy reports Hawkes' resignation will be effective in January.

Senator Mike Fasano says he's glad to hear Hawkes is resigning, but says he wishes Hawkes had decided to do so sooner. Fasano has been calling for Hawkes to leave the bench since the judge's part in the construction of a multi-million dollar court house was uncovered.

"In a time when we have such problems economically throughout our state, again building a court house is one thing. Building a palace for you and your colleges, which is what Paul Hawkes did, is another."

Fasano says he hopes Hawkes' resignation will save the judicial system from any further embarrassment. The judge was charged in May with "conduct unbecoming a judge, destroying public records and intimidating public employees."