Broward News

Broward Judge Lynn Rosenthal's DUI Deal Rejected by Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a 90-day suspension without pay for Broward Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal that would have protected her from disciplinary action recommended by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Rosenthal had agreed to the suspension last month

According to the Sun Sentinel, the decision to turn down the recommendation was "in order to fully develop the facts regarding any misconduct that occurred during the criminal investigation and the Judicial Qualifications Commission investigation."

Basically, the court is looking for more information regarding Rosenthal's alleged misleading statements to the JQC and for destroying evidence.

As New Times reported in May of last year, Rosenthal was busted for driving her SUV into a parked police cruiser inside the courthouse parking lot. Rosenthal, it turns out, was on Ambien when she was driving on the morning of her arrest. However, she refused to submit to a blood and urine test.

According to the police report, Rosenthal told investigators she had taken the prescription sleeping pill the night before her accident.  

Police also say Rosenthal was in an accident prior to the one at the courthouse as she made her way to work on the morning of May 27, 2014. According to the report, Rosenthal's account of that incident didn't add up to what investigators discovered.

In addition to all this, the Broward judge requested that her mug shot be blocked from public view. While in jail, Rosenthal cited a Florida statute that protects her from having her mug shot available for public view. She scribbled her request with a pen on paper with a BSO lieutenant as a witness.

During the initial investigation, Rosenthal told police that a truck tried to run her off the road as she drove down I-595. She told them she had captured that incident on her cell phone. 

According to the report, when reviewing the video, police saw Rosenthal's black BMW SUV drift across the highway and hit a barrier wall.

"The video did display that [Rosenthal] was unable to maintain a single lane, drove in the breakdown lane, and failed to avoid a collision with a concrete wall," the report says.

Police noted damage to the BMW's driver's side and side-view mirror. The video was eventually deleted by Rosenthal, who said she thought it was no longer needed by investigators once they saw it.

The JQC had initially recommended a suspension and public reprimand for Rosenthal, as well as 12 hours of legal ethics training and family counseling. But after reviewing the recommendations, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling on Monday turning it down.

In March, the JQC handed down a similar recommendation for Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato, who had pleaded guilty to DUI. The recommendation was that Imperato be reprimanded, fined, and temporarily suspended without pay, following her DUI guilty verdict from November 2014. In addition, the JQC said Imperato should undergo an alcohol evaluation with the completion and be fined $5,000.
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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph