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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A Broward County circuit judge has agreed to an investigative panel’s recommendation that he face a public reprimand because of a series of events that stemmed from an email sent to an assistant public defender.
Attorneys for Judge John Contini filed a document in the Florida Supreme Court saying he accepted findings and recommendations from a panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. The Supreme Court has the ultimate authority to discipline judges.
Along with a public reprimand from the Supreme Court, the panel also recommended that Contini receive mentoring from another judge and complete a stress-management program.
The series of events started with a March 2015 email sent by Contini to an assistant public defender and later disclosed to prosecutors. The email, which included a sentencing order from another court, led prosecutors to seek to disqualify Contini from pending criminal cases.
The issue went to the 4th District Court of Appeal. The panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission said Contini took the matter “very personally” and made disparaging comments about prosecutors. In August, Contini was transferred from hearing criminal cases to family-law cases, the panel recommendation said.
The panel found that Contini, who was elected to the bench in 2014, violated the Code of Judicial Conduct but said he also has “expressed sincere remorse” for his actions.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.