The New Judge
Clay Roberts, the newest judge appointed to Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal, has been through some tough times, most notably Florida’s 2000 Presidential Election recount. As chief of the State Division of Elections during the recount, he faced a storm of reporters from all over the world.
On Thursday Gov. Charlie Crist joined former Florida State University President Talbot "Sandy’’ D’Alemberte and others to praise Roberts as he was officially sworn into office on a court that has been torn with conflict over the actions of one of its members.
Roberts, 42, is a West Point grade who has worked for house and senate elections committees and served as chief of staff for Crist in the attorney general’s office. He was Crist’s first judicial appointment.
Crist praised him as "a man of intellect and honor with a good heart and a compassion for people.’’
Roberts is married to D’Alemberte’s niece, Trelles, and has two sons, 3 and 5 years old.
"This is just what we needed,’’ said Chief Judge Edwin Browning as he surveyed a happy crowd of well wishers. Earlier in the week Browning was fielding questions about the court’s removal of its former chief judge, Charles J. Kahn Jr. who has admitted having a relationship with a court employee.
Last month the Judicial Qualifications Commission refused to take any action against Kahn after his lawyers argued that the relationship had been between consenting adults. Kahn was not present for Thursday ceremony, but remains on the court.