Broward County circuit judge, and misdemeanor drug court judge, Gisele Pollack, who has had a history of substance abuse, including one time when she arrived to work drunk, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Friday morning in Plantation.
Pollack, who just a month ago took leave of her duties to deal with her personal problems, is now facing several charges, including DUI with damage to property or persons and failure to use due care.
Back in March, Pollack, 56, was behaving erratically in the courtroom and at times slurred her words. Her meltdown on the bench led Pollack to take personal leave and shortly thereafter checked herself into an outpatient treatment program in Weston.
Before that, in December, Pollack had reportedly shown up for work inebriated. She began drunkenly threatening to have her staff fired when they confronted her about it.
When her staff tried to keep her from going to the bench drunk, her response was reportedly to say, "Fuck you, you're fired."
Another judge had to personally come and remove Pollack from the courtroom that day.
Pollack had put together a misdemeanor drug court that specialized in helping people arrested for marijuana violations by having them checked into a treatment facility rather than sound any time in jail.
Pollack had described this so-called marijuana court as a place where "defendants prepared to go through a treatment program and six months worth of testing, supervision and staying clean, would have the charges against them dismissed," according to BrowardBulldog.
While details of what led to her early morning Friday arrest have not been released, Pollack's problems are generally regarded with some sympathy. Although, with this latest arrest, her job may very well be in jeopardy.
Her attorney Eric Schwartzreich is asking for folks to see her as a human with very real problems before casting judgement.
"She's been battling a lot of demons from issues with her son to the death of her mother, which have been very, very traumatic for her," Schwartzreich told Local 10. "She is a human being like the rest of us. ... I know she's a judge and they want to hold her to a higher standard, but hold her to the standard of a human being like anyone else."
Pollack isn't the first Broward judge to deal with drug and alcohol issues.
Judge Joyce Juilian once ran down the halls at a conference naked from the waist down.
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