Judge contests order that he be fired
The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission has recommended that Circuit 7 Judge Scott DuPont be removed from the bench over a series of alleged ethical breaches.
DuPont filed an appeal April 30 contesting the charges. The case next heads to the Florida Supreme Court for a ruling.
“Judge DuPont’s testimony to the FJQC was, at times, not worthy of belief,” the FJQC document states. “The FJQC findings, the law, and the expectations of the public mandate that he is presently unfit to serve.”
In a response to the FJQC allegations, DuPont’s legal team stated that the false information on DuPont’s opponent had been supplied by DuPont’s campaign staff, and that DuPont believed “that the information ... was accurate.”
Of the incident in which he ordered money taken from a man’s wallet to pay for child support, DuPont’s response states that the man “initially stated that he had no money,” then DuPont ordered him searched. There was $180 in his pocket, which the man said he was holding for someone else.
“Certainly, a reasonable person can understand why Judge Dupont acted in the manner in which he did, given the respondent’s lack of candor,” the response states. It adds that other area judges, including one of DuPont’s mentors, had used similar methods.
As to DuPont’s remark during the forum that determining the constitutionality of statutes would be legislating from the bench, DuPont “misspoke.”
DuPont’s legal response acknowledges that DuPont had erred by starting hearings early without counsel present.