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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA) — A Miami-Dade County judge will face a public reprimand for writing a letter of reference for a criminal defendant who was awaiting sentencing in federal court, the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday.

The Supreme Court approved a settlement agreement reached by Judge Deborah White-Labora and the state Judicial Qualifications Commission in which she acknowledged violating a judicial code of conduct.

Justices also approved part of the agreement that said she should face a public reprimand. The investigation centered on a letter that White-Labora wrote on her judicial letterhead for the defendant.

“Although we recognize that Judge White-Labora’s conduct was well-intentioned, as Judge White-Labora understands by her agreement to the violations and discipline, her conduct is prohibited by the Code of Judicial Conduct,” the unanimous Supreme Court decision said.

“Under our precedent, Judge White-Labora’s conduct warrants a public reprimand.” The Judicial Qualifications Commission investigates alleged misconduct by judges, with the Supreme Court having ultimately authority to impose discipline.

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