Orlando-area judge ordered suspended for campaign ad

florida supreme court2

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a 90-day unpaid suspension and public reprimand for an Orlando-area judge who “circulated a deceptive, misleading advertisement.”

Shepard

The court’s hearing panel also suggested paranoia on the part of Circuit Judge Kimberly Shepard, who believed “sinister forces (were) at work” trying to defeat her, they said.

Shepard previously was a Democratic state representative, serving one term in 1992-94 before being ousted by Republican challenger Allen Trovillion. She ran for a 9th Circuit Court judgeship and won in 2014, now sitting in Orange County.

During the campaign, she handed out fliers that “implied that the Orlando Sentinel had endorsed Ms. Shepard, when it had, in fact, endorsed her opponent,” Norberto Katz, according to a report by a hearing panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

“The advertisement’s language was taken from a 1994 endorsement for Ms. Shepard for a legislative race, without disclosing the date and office to which it applied,” it added.

The court’s order also said Shepard “has not shown any remorse for her misconduct” and “has not apologized or acknowledged her wrongdoing.”

But it said her “conduct does not warrant the ultimate discipline of removal from office,” explaining that she “did not make numerous misrepresentations in her campaign materials or engage in campaign finance violations.”

The judicial conduct hearing panel previously reported that her response to the ethics investigation against her “reflects a fear of sinister forces at work conniving at her defeat.”

“The ‘existence’ of these forces—and their alignment against her—appear to justify in her mind her behavior in both the underlying matter and this proceeding,” its report said.

 

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]



#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories