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State Supreme Court scolds Hillsborough judge over DUI



TAMPA — A Hillsborough circuit judge who pleaded guilty last year to driving under the influence was ordered Thursday to appear for a reprimand before the Florida Supreme Court.

The state's Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended the reprimand in January against Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan. The high court agreed.

"Judge Sheehan's conduct at issue in this case ... is reprehensible," Chief Justice Ricky Polston wrote in an order. "Judge Sheehan's action of driving under the influence not only violated Florida's criminal law but also endangered the public. Such disregard of criminal law and public safety undermines the public's confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and will not be tolerated."

The action is in keeping with prior cases in which judges have admitted to drunken driving, the court said. Justices also noted the commission's finding that this case appeared to be an isolated incident for which Sheehan has accepted responsibility.

A date for Sheehan's reprimand has yet to be scheduled.

The judge was arrested July 5 after a night of drinks in Ybor City. The judge later called her actions a "horrible, poor choice."

She pleaded guilty to a DUI charge and was sentenced to a year of probation plus 50 hours of community service.

Elected in 2007, Sheehan oversees family law and civil cases.

State Supreme Court scolds Hillsborough judge over DUI 05/15/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:58pm]
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