Leon County judge faces more unethical misconduct charges

Judith Hawkins
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-11 15:01:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--A Leon County judge is now facing several charges of judicial misconduct. Judge Judith Hawkins is accused of running and promoting a private business while on the job.

The Florida judicial qualifications commission is accusing Hawkins of running and promoting her business on the job.

Hawkins owns an online shop called "Gaza Road Ministries," where she sells books, study materials, and notepads with inspirational messages. The commission alleges she sold a number of these products and held personal business meetings in her courtroom, chambers and throughout the courthouse.

The probable cause says in part: "You took the resources provided to you for the support of your judicial duties and used them instead to operate a private business."

Back in December 2012 when the first couple charges were brought against her, Hawkins attorney stated she only worked on her business in her free time and never used her judicial status to promote it.

The commission also accuses her of having off the record conversations in the courtroom and says she was often inconsistent with laws and legal procedures

Though Hawkins lawyer Gerald Kogan was unavailable for comment, we tried reaching out to several sources for their thoughts including state and county leaders but they all told us no comment at this time.

Hawkins will have to respond to the commission within the next 20 days if its not resolved with the panel. The Florida Supreme Court will ultimately decide her fate.

These are the charges the commission is alleging against her including failure to act in a manner that promotes public confidence, failure to devote full attention to the judicial office, lack of candor and ignoring the applicable law,use of judicial office to promote a private interest,

failure to respect and comply with the law.