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Hillsborough Judge Tracy Sheehan faces reprimand over DUI charge

Published Jan. 28, 2014

TAMPA — Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan, sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge last year, should now be publicly reprimanded, according to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

In a filing Monday with the Florida Supreme Court, the commission wrote the DUI case would "constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary" and could warrant her removal.

However, the commission wrote it "concluded that the conduct was an isolated incident and does not demonstrate an unfitness for office" and recommended a public reprimand. It asked the court to approve an agreement with Sheehan to do just that.

"Judge Sheehan has admitted the foregoing, accepts full responsibility, and acknowledges that such conduct should not have occurred," its filing said.

The judge was arrested July 5. She never denied that she drove drunk that night after having drinks in Ybor City — she said afterward that she had made a "horrible, poor choice."

Sheehan pleaded guilty to the charge in August and was sentenced to a year of probation and 50 hours of community service.

Elected to the bench in 2007, Sheehan since 2012 has been overseeing family law and civil cases.