"Time and again Orange-Osceola Circuit Judge Tim Shea publicly insulted and yelled at prosecutors in his courtroom, once asking one woman to get coffee for everyone in the room, according to a formal complaint that accuses him of judicial misconduct.
|Judge Tim Shea|
Shea, a judge since 2007, has signed the equivalent of a plea deal with the state agency that polices judges, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, admitting the boorish behavior and agreeing to be punished for it.
He is to appear before the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee and be publicly reprimanded.
The [disciplinary] complaint, made public Wednesday, cites nine incidents of misconduct, most involving prosecutors.
Once he screamed so loudly in court that deputes in the hallway outside could hear, according to the complaint.
Another time he came off the bench, red faced and yelling, and physically intimidated a male assistant state attorney, according to the complaint. But most of the incidents involved female prosecutors, who complained that he yelled, insulted them or made vaguely sexist insults.
One of his most frequent targets was Assistant State Attorney Camelia Coward.
Once, when [prosecutor Coward] made no plea offer in a case, he made one on her behalf, saying his intent was 'teaching her a lesson,' according to the complaint. Another time, when she came into his court to help another assistant state attorney, he asked why she had appeared then suggested she 'run down and get all of us some coffee.'
Another time, after a sidebar during which she had made an argument, Shea made his hand into the shape of a talking mouth and told the other attorney - a man - it's best to let a woman 'just talk until she's finished' then do whatever you want He made the same comment about Coward a week later in open court with attorneys, witnesses and members of the public present.
Shea [ . . . ] told the panel that he did not realize he was offending people and would stop. Since then, there have been no other reported outbursts, according to the JQC.
That didn't keep the agency from formally charging him with misconduct. He did not contest its findings. The Florida Supreme Court must approve Shea's plea deal with the JQC. If it accepts, it will then schedule the public reprimand."
The plea deal in this guy's situation is quite a deal.
Here's a judge who is not only insulting but by his negotiating plea deals when the prosecutor doesn't make an offer, Judge Shea is impermissibly stepping out of his role as judge. This kind of thing would cost most judges in most states a good deal more than a reprimand.