OCTOBER 19, 2005
An Orlando Florida circuit judge was finally removed from the bench this week by the Florida Supreme Court. Judge James Henson was first suspended by the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission for misconduct eight months ago, yet he continued to collect his regular annual salary of $139,497 to stay home and go golfing.
The Florida Supreme Court agreed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission’s findings that Judge Henson is guilty of taking on a criminal-defense client while he was still a sitting county judge in late 2000 and then, as a private attorney, advising that same client to flee the country to avoid prosecution. The case involved two DUI manslaughter charges.
But even after the suspension, Henson received a judicial raise that kicked in earlier this summer and taxpayers shelled out nearly $50,000 to pay for the senior judges that made $300 to $350 a day to hear Henson’s cases.
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