Broward judge who 'personified incivility' to receive reprimand – Florida Politics (blog)
The Florida Supreme Court has ordered that a Broward County circuit judge come before it for a public reprimand.
In a unanimous order released Thursday, the court also directed Circuit Judge John Patrick Contini to write a letter of apology, undergo judicial mentoring, complete a mental health program, and pay administrative costs.
He was brought up on judicial conduct charges last year.
Contini was accused of sending a document on how to argue for lesser sentences to an assistant public defender without giving a copy to prosecutors. Contini himself is a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.
When they sought to disqualify him from pending criminal cases because of an appearance of bias, he rejected the request and lashed out against them, making “disparaging, demeaning remarks,” an investigative report says.
Contini later admitted he “‘lost it’ in court, ‘overreacted,’ ‘personified incivility,’ and had ‘no excuse’ for his comments.”
A Judicial Qualifications Commission panel noted that “Contini was a new judge, who … made a series of significant missteps.” It also said he “immediately accepted responsibility for his conduct, expressed sincere remorse, and apologized.”
Though he’s practiced law for 31 years, Contini was only elected judge in 2014 and on the bench since January 2015, a report says. He was given a hefty docket of more than 1,000 cases.