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Judical Commission Wants Leon Judge Hawkins Removed From The Bench


Florida's Judicial Qualifications Commission wants the Florida Supreme Court to fire Leon Judge Judith Hawkins. The group isn't buying Hawkins' reasons for why she should keep her job.

Hawkins is accused of using her office for personal gain. More specifically, the JQC says she used her office to promote her religious books and sold them to attorneys, clerks and others. Hawkins argues she saw nothing wrong because, "I knew another judge had sold his books at the courthouse and that other judges were identified by their positions on book covers".

The JQC argues Hawkins made false testimonies and deliberately hid evidence during their investigation. The group is also taking aim at Hawkins' comments about her faith. In defending herself, the judge writes, "I had a moment when my faith instructed me, like many  other litigants, to hold fast to my innocence and fight the good fight.”

In it's response to Hawkins and request for her to be removed from the bench, the JQC says:

No other statement in the whole of these proceedings so thoroughly demonstrates the wisdom of removal. There is no proof more convincing of Respondent’s unfitness to continue to sit in judgment upon any litigant. Intentional misrepresentations, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice do not constitute a “good fight” in a court of law.  Respondent’s conduct  before the investigative and hearing panels of the JQC was not designed to portray  her innocence; it was calculated to hide her guilt.

Whether Hawkins keeps her job is now up to the Florida Supreme Court.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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