FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Ex-NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson will ask a judge to reconsider her ruling to send him to jail for 30 days after he slapped his attorney on the behind during a Monday hearing on his probation violation.
Johnson was set to accept a plea deal negotiated by his lawyer when Judge Kathleen McHugh asked the former player if he was happy with his representation. Johnson, 35, said yes and gave his attorney a slap on the behind as if he were a teammate on the field.
The courtroom laughed at Johnson’s move, Judge McHugh was infuriated by Johnson’s actions because everyone in the courtroom began laughing when Johnson did it. Judge McHugh rejected Johnson’s plea deal because she said he was not taking the proceedings seriously.
The original plea deal would have extended Johnson’s probation for three months and he would have gone to 2 counseling sessions per week plus perform an additional 25 hours of community service.
Johnson did apologize to the judge after the incident and said he meant no disrespect. But in the end, pardon the pun, it was too little too late. Judge McHugh sentenced Johnson to 30 days in jail for the probation violation.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was one of the more powerful critics of Judge McHugh’s conduct.
“Although we never condone domestic violence, this event seems to question judicial temperament, not the subject matter before the court,” Bondi said, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
A new hearing has been set for June 17, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.