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Judicial watchdog group calls for Broward County judge to be suspended

WPTV gavel judge in court
Posted at 8:48 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 08:50:14-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Judicial Qualifications Commission is recommending that the Florida Supreme Court suspend a Broward County judge without pay for grabbing a courthouse employee by the neck and shaking him.

In a recommendation submitted to the high court, commission's lawyer Alex Williams says Circuit Judge Gina Hawkins should be suspended immediately.

The SunSentinel reports a suspension at this stage of a judicial misconduct complaint would be unusual but not unprecedented.

The commission's report says Hawkins was upset with a male employee on June 11 because she hadn't received her docket. They stepped into the hallway where she grabbed him. Video surveillance captured the incident.

Day later Hawkins reviewed the video with the chief judge, who advised her to report the incident to the commission. Williams says Hawkins' description contradicts the video.