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Tallahassee Circuit Judge Barbara Hobbs gets a public reprimand from the Florida Supreme Court

A woman in a gold suit stands smiling in front of a microphone.
Lydell Rawls
WFSU Public Media
Judge Barbara Hobbs speaks at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.

The Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Tallahassee Circuit Judge Barbara Hobbs at a hearing Wednesday morning.

“Judge Hobbs, as you know, you're here today to receive a public reprimand from our court along with a $30,000 fine, a 60-day suspension without pay, and a requirement that you attend an employee management program,” said Chief Justice Carlos Muniz. He read a prepared statement that took less than four minutes.

Hobbs’s trouble began two years ago after her son was charged in a shooting incident. Hobbs presented herself as his attorney during a police interview. Then, a panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission found that her assistant committed ethical breaches, like sitting at the attorney’s table during a judicial hearing for Hobbs’s son.

“These actions violated the Canons of judicial conduct which are the ethical rules of the road for judges,” read Muniz. “There are Canons that explicitly prohibit judges from practicing law and that require judges to properly supervise their staff, and most fundamentally, the Canons demand that judges avoid impropriety and uphold the integrity of the judiciary.”

Hobbs made no comment at the hearing other than thanking the justices when the reprimand was over. She has spent a decade as a judge in the 2nd Judicial Circuit.

Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.