Broward Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal, who was arrested for DUI after ramming her black BMW SUV into a police car in the Broward County courthouse parking lot in 2014, has resigned.
The Judicial Qualifications Commission was set to begin hearings in her misconduct case, but will now be cancelled following Rosenthal's resignation.
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 the Florida Supreme Court rejected a 90-day suspension without pay and asked for an investigation on the incident.
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.
Rosenthal, 57, who had served as Assistant United States Attorney beginning in 1985 and put away many on drug trafficking charges over the years, was appointed by Rick Scott and sworn in on August 1, 2012.
Her resignation, as first reported by JAAB Blog Wednesday night, becomes effective October 31.
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