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Gov. Scott Appoints Successor to Leon Co. Judge Judith Hawkins

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Posted at 7:02 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 17:58:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Governor Rick Scott announced today that he has appointed J. Layne Smith to the Leon County Court. This is to fill the seat previously held by Judge Judith Hawkins who was removed from the bench in October of last year, following a decision by the Florida Supreme Court.

They say she sold religious books, study guides, and other publications to lawyers and staffers at the county courthouse as part of her business, Gaza Road Ministries.

According to Governor Scott's press office, Smith, 53, of Tallahassee, currently serves as the General Counsel for the Florida Department of Lottery and previously served as the General Counsel for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 2011-2014. They say he received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Florida State University.

Governor Rick Scott said, “J. Layne Smith has the qualities that make a great judge. His years of dedicated service to Florida families has prepared him for his time on the Leon County Court bench.”