‘Probable cause’ for formal proceedings against foul-mouthed Jacksonville judge, redux


On Thursday, the Judicial Qualifications Commission issued an amended notice of formal charges against Jacksonville Judge Mark Hulsey.

Hulsey has been accused of a variety of horrible deeds and words, including language and actions that express major racial and gender bias.

In spite of this, Hulsey won re-election in August, albeit after a recount.

The amended notice describes a number of Hulsey’s infractions, including language “inappropriate for your judicial office,” adding more narrative detail that makes the charges no less horrifying than before.

“Among other comments: a. You referred to the prior lead Staff Attorney as a “b—-” and a “c—”. b. You have demeaned female Staff Attorneys by referring to them as like cheerleaders who talk during the national anthem. c. You berated a Staff Attorney who failed to remain in the courtroom while a jury was deliberating. During this capital trial, you required the Staff Attorney to provide you with basic information about capital trial procedures, and then, at the end of the two-week trial, you unfairly berated, and blamed the Staff Attorney for mistakes you made during the course of the trial.”

As well, staff attorneys suffered other indignities from Hulsey, according to the charges, compelling them to essentially be on call for duty, requiring them to wait around for hearings that were continued, and requiring one to sit with him for an entire two-week capital trial.

Hulsey has been accused of interfering with the investigative process: “Finally, in 2016, when the JQC became aware of your continuing pattern of misconduct it opened an Inquiry. When you found out that your Judicial Assistant had been contacted by the JQC, you directed her to ‘tell the truth,’ but then you also instructed her to make sure that she mentioned that she doesn’t think you would ever make a derogatory remark about women or African-Americans.

“You later confronted your JA regarding her cooperation with the JQC’s inquiry, and her apparent refusal to say what you wanted. Your conduct represents an interference with the JQC’s Inquiry process, and your JA was temporarily reassigned to prevent further attempts at interference,” the complain continues.

Hulsey also claimed political endorsements that were never given, saying they were “oral endorsements,” including one from a member of the Clay County canvassing board.

Hulsey has 20 days to file a written response to these charges.

The amended notice takes issue also with his suggestion that African-Americans “get on a ship and go back to Africa.”

As well, the amended notice describes his maltreatment of his judicial assistant, forcing her to do personal tasks for Hulsey, which impeded his job performance.

“One consequence of your misuse of your Judicial Assistant is that you are unable to respond to post-conviction matters promptly and efficiently. After attending training on post-conviction motions, you gave your instructional notebook to your Judicial Assistant and instructed her to read it and figure it out. Further, you have failed to promptly issue orders sought by the Attorney General’s Office, forcing them to unnecessarily seek extensions in responding to petitions,” reads the amended notice.

“Another consequence of your misuse of your Judicial Assistant is that she had to routinely take boxes of court files home to complete her official duties at night,” the notice added.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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