Prosecutor seeks judge's recusal in all pending cases, cites 'legal advice' email to public defender
A South Florida chief judge began hearing a colleague’s criminal call on Friday morning, after a Broward circuit prosecutor filed a blanket recusal motion against Judge John Contini.
Filed late Thursday, the motion by State Attorney Mike Satz contends that an email from Contini to an assistant public defender offered “legal advice” and showed favoritism to a defense lawyer. Hence, the motion says, the email calls into question Contini’s impartiality in hearing 17th Circuit criminal cases, reports the Sun Sentinel. The motion seeks Contini’s recusal in all pending cases.
Contini’s email offered advice to the public defender’s office “regarding how they may perfect their own motions for downward departure sentences on cases” heard by Contini, the motion states.
Reached by the newspaper, Contini said he is precluded from discussing the matter. He formerly worked both as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer, the newspaper notes, and was recently elected to this judicial position.