Andrew Siegel, Facebook judge case: Can judge be FB friends with prosecutor? Supreme Court to decide

Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Florida Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether a judge can preside over a criminal case if he and the prosecutor are Facebook friends.

Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday asked the justice to reverse an appellate ruling that ordered Circuit Judge Andrew Siegel off the Broward County case.

Defendant Pierre Domville asked Siegel to recuse himself because of his Facebook friendship with the prosecutor.

Siegal refused, but the West Palm Beach-based 4th District Court Appeal overruled him.

A three-judge panel cited a 2009 opinion by the state's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee that concluded the Judicial Code of Ethics prevents judges from friending lawyers who appear before them on social networking sites.

District Judge Robert Gross wrote that judges "do not have the unfettered social freedom of teenagers."

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