Legal Ethics

After Judge & Prosecutor Clash, His Removal Is Sought On 455 of Her Cases

A 56-year-old Florida jurist can’t fully tell his side of the story, due to ethical rules about commenting on pending cases.

But, as Broward Circuit Judge Carlos Rodriguez apparently sees it, he was just doing his job when he told a 27-year-old female prosecutor to take a seat at the prosecution table and stay there two weeks ago and drastically reduced the sentences in three negotiated pleas, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Broward County State Attorney’s Office disagrees, and is seeking the judge’s removal from all 455 cases being prosecuted by assistant state attorney Jennifer Hilal.

In an appellate filing concerning one of the cases, it calls the judge’s actions toward Hilal not only retaliatory but “demeaning, abusive, condescending and punitive,” the newspaper reports.

Speaking of the case clash that sparked the situation, the filing contends that Rodriguez, a former public defender, abandoned his role as a neutral magistrate and advocated for the defendant.

Related coverage: “DA Calls for Boycott of Judge” “Courthouse Abuzz Over DA’s Blanket Boycott of Longtime Judge”

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