By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A Miami-Dade judge who reportedly made his staff run personal errands and repeatedly skipped work has accepted responsibility for his actions and resigned.

Judge Martin Zilber, who was facing a disciplinary hearing on the accusations of misconduct, submitted his resignation letter Friday, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

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The Florida Supreme Court wanted a more severe punishment than the 60-day suspension and $30,000 fine recommended by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, according to media reports. The court sent the case back to the judicial disciplinary agency in April for a full hearing, which could have led to a formal removal from the bench.

According to the Herald, the commission found that Zilber’s routine mistreatment of his staff included berating his judicial assistant, Dixidela Dent.

Zilber commented on the “inconvenient timing of her pregnancy,” the commission found, adding the judge once asked Dent while pregnant to wheel his chair up “several floors to the courtroom and then lift it onto the dais prior to hearings.”

The investigation determined that she and the judge’s bailiff were required to drive Zilber to various events. Dent was also told to create a scrapbook of his achievements.

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Zilber sent his bailiff to register his car with the state highway safety department and motor vehicles, as well as to pick up tickets for an art fair.

Between January 2019 and March 2020, according to the commission, Zilber was absent from the courthouse 51 days without notifying superiors. It said he often left work early.

Dent’s lawyer Bruce Jacobs told the newspaper that his client understands “the importance of integrity and honesty in the judiciary.”

“She came forward, at great risk, to speak truth to power,” Jacobs said. “She was blacklisted from the legal community and even her husband told her to move on. When Dixie’s husband saw Judge Zilber resigned, he told her how proud he was of her for standing up for her beliefs.”

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team