TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Saying the case is about “greed,” a hearing panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission has recommended the removal of a Broward County circuit judge because of allegations of improper conduct before she was elected to the bench.

The recommendation involving Circuit Judge Laura Watson, who was elected in November 2012, was issued Tuesday and will be considered by the Florida Supreme Court.

The hearing panel focused on Watson’s handling of a case, while she was a private attorney, that dealt with personal-injury protection insurance claims and allegations of “bad faith” by Progressive Insurance Co.   The investigation centered on a settlement agreement and legal fees that the panel said stood to benefit Watson, who represented health-care providers.

“At its core, this case is about greed. Temptation overrode Judge Watson’s ethics, despite advance warning,” the panel’s recommendation said. “She sold out her clients, her co-counsel, and ultimately herself. This conduct is ‘fundamentally inconsistent with the responsibilities of judicial office,’ and mandates removal.”

Watson has disputed that she did anything wrong, according to the hearing panel. Also, she offered what the panel described as “unimpeachable” character witnesses, including Fort Lauderdale Mayor John Seiler and former state Rep. Jack Seiler, who has known the judge since high school.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

  1. sikolakjengkol says:

    Reblogged this on kolak jengkol.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

What Are People Talking About?
Weather Forecast 24/7Check for current temps and what to expect throughout the day

Watch & Listen LIVE