John Contini joins Ana Gardiner and Laura Watson in the club of Broward judges disbarred over the last few years.

Contini has agreed to a five-year disbarment.  Gardiner’s Florida Bar profile currently shows Disbarment“, while Watson’s says Disbarment – Permanent“.  Both women fought the charges that led to their tickets being pulled.

Here is the Conditional Guilty Plea and Disbarment on Consent, filed by Contini’s attorney Fred Haddad and Bar counsel Randi Klayman Lazarus on September 5th.

(Thanks to “Contini agrees to disbarment” at 3:23 PM)

121 thoughts on “DISBARRED!”

    1. 26


      Gardiner is a little too old to be contemplating a return to the practice of law. With the current price of Spanish Fly on the market these days she’s probably sticking pretty close to the kitchen by the looks of things. Hope she stays there.

      1. 11


        The very last thing we need is Gardiner sniffing around here again. Old dogs should know when to crawl off and stay lost. Especially this old dog.

      2. 7


        Remembering all the luvs of Ana Banana is a very taxing exercise. Talk about slipping on a banana peal. Bogenpoop fell right into it. Lol. There’s no fool like an old fool.
        On the topic of John Contini. I never could figure out why he’d want to be a Broward judge anyway. Joining this group of losers isn’t any great ambition unless you have very low self esteem problem and want to sink even lower.

    2. 6


      As part of her “deal” when she resigned the judgeship she agreed never to seek a judgeship again. In addition, I believe a disbarment is deemed permanent unless leave is specifically granted to reapply. No such language in the 7-0 opinion disbarring this low life. Lying under oath in connection with a capital case = perjury if I am not mistaken. She’s lucky she isn’t incarcerated.

  1. 9


    I put $50 on a two retired Judge parlay of who gets disbarred using Contini and Spechler at 8 to 1. Should pay off by Feb.

  2. 2


    Is everyone who comments on jaab busy tonight? I’m super surprised there’s only 5 comments on this rather than the usual barrage. What’s going on tonight. Bring me in the loop. Why are 90% of jaab crazy commenters not commenting tonight?

    1. 2


      Ask the blog owner.
      We are still doing this story:

      FSC Sanctions Grand Theft by Broward Judge.

      They passed the buck!

      What about the 12 Grand he stole from Broward taxpayers.?Outrageous FSC, JQC.

    2. 5


      From SFC

      Palm Beach Post
      Updated: 12:31 p.m. Sunday, September 09, 2018 | Posted: 8:01 p.m. Saturday, September 08, 2018

      Corruption and collusion of judges and lawyers in Delray Beach for financial gain” centered around dubious professional guardian Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt and her husband, former Circuit Judge Martin Colin, according to a report never before made public by Palm Beach County’s guardianship watchdog.

      Once again, a major institution in what is known nationwide as “Corruption County” stands accused of betraying the public trust.

      Colin signed orders in Savitt’s cases. The couple’s friend — Circuit Judge David French — oversaw the majority of her cases. And lawyers appointed by Colin steered lucrative guardianships to Savitt while asking Colin to approve tens of thousands of dollars in fees in other cases before him. Other judges approved questionable fees or appointed Savitt under “unusual” circumstances.

      These allegations are detailed in a 25-page report by the Inspector General of the Clerk & Comptroller’s Office and obtained by The Palm Beach Post on Friday. The State Attorney’s Office investigated but found no evidence of a crime.

      Families of Savitt’s incapacitated wards — often seniors — complained in vain for years that a group of lawyers and judges were against them at every turn as they watched their loved ones suffer and lose their life savings.

      The IG report stands as vindication for families who watched slack-jawed as numerous judges dismissed their concerns about retainers, over-billing and bogus litigation to generate fees. Remarkably, Savitt continues as a guardian.

      “If it was not clear before this, that collusion and conspiracy are present in the Palm Beach courts, it should be now,” said Dr. Sam Sugar, co-founder of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship.

      “Given the pervasive involvement of so many judges over such a long period of time, it is unrealistic to expect that the system will police itself. It is beyond high time for federal prosecutors to finally mount a full-scale comprehensive and legitimate investigation of the now well-documented guardianship abuses.”

      At least one chief judge was informed — verbally, not in writing — that the IG had found “major violations of Florida guardianship law” by Savitt as early as 2012. He told Colin to be sure not to preside over his wife’s cases.

      Another investigation detailed in the report began in 2014 again found “major violations of guardianship law” by Savitt.

      Despite years of investigation by authorities, none took public action until The Post exposed Savitt and Colin in its January 2016 investigation, Guardianships: A Broken Trust.

      The report, delivered to the state Office of Public and Professional Guardians in December, is the basis for the first action by any authority to take Savitt out of the guardianship field, which poured thousands of dollars into hers and the judge’s household.

      The guardianship office is seeking, in effect, to prohibit her from being a professional guardian in this county. It also seeks to require her to pay back the nearly $200,000 she earned from fees in 13 cases involving at least one of the judges or lawyers.

      Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath, in the wake of The Post investigation in 2016, made sweeping changes to the county guardianship system but didn’t stop Savitt from practicing. He ordered mass recusals from south county judges, transferred Colin to another division and sent Savitt’s cases to the North County Courthouse.

      Colin announced he would not run for re-election and retired at the end of 2016. French is retiring at the end of this year but not before he appointed Savitt to another case, thumbing his nose at Colbath’s efforts.

      Colin and Savitt did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. French’s office said the judge declined to comment. And a spokeswoman for Chief Judge Krista Marx said she was unavailable for comment.

      All of this might have been nipped in the bud if the state Judicial Qualifications Commission acted on complaints about Colin in 2008 that claimed he was favoring divorce attorneys who represented Savitt. The JQC failed to seek even a reprimand and within two years, Savitt was a professional guardian with power over the finances, the medical care, and the housing of incapacitated seniors and disabled adults.

      The system works

      Sharon Bock, the county’s Clerk & Comptroller, said the IG report shows the process worked because of the independence of her office to investigate guardianship complaints.

      The initial Savitt investigation was kick-started by a call to the clerk’s fraud hotline in 2012. Another investigation commenced in 2014 with several more hotline tips and finally coalesced with a complaint to the state’s revamped guardianship office in 2016, within days of it getting the authority to police professional guardians.

      “We believe the work product we are turning out is making a difference and has made a difference already in Palm Beach County,” Bock said. “We have been doing these reports since 2011.”

      Carol Berkowitz, executive director of the Office of Public and Professional Guardians, said that there is enormous respect for many professional guardians across Florida who work tirelessly to support vulnerable adults, but added:

      “It is extremely important that we act when a complaint investigation finds that a guardian has violated their statutory responsibilities or is not acting in the best interest of their ward.”

      Criminal investigation

      The IG report states Savitt’s case was referred to the public corruption unit in State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s office, which also issued a subpoena to ascertain whether a senior’s money was used to satisfy Savitt’s outstanding $308,000 mortgage. Both the state attorney and IG said it was not.

      “This investigation focused on whether the relationship between Judge Colin and Elizabeth Savitt resulted in Savitt receiving an unfair financial advantage assigned to her or if she or her associated attorneys received unfair favorable rulings from Judge Colin,” according to a memorandum issued by the state attorney’s office on Nov. 21, 2016, and quoted in the report.

      The state attorney found “no evidence to support any of the allegations.”

      The IG commented that even though the state attorney’s standard of proof was higher, there was circumstantial and anecdotal information of criminal corruption and collusion. He said it was unclear whether the state attorney’s standard was “beyond a reasonable doubt” or a “probability of obtaining a conviction” yet it concurred with the state attorney’s conclusion.

      Anthony Palmieri, the deputy inspector general for the clerk who authored the IG report, said, “My sole focus was on Betsy Savitt as a professional guardian and her conflicts and what her duties were and what her responsibilities were. And yet that did kind of leach into Judge Colin and maybe into Judge French. My focus was not on the judiciary.”

      More than a dozen judges

      More than a dozen judges are part of the report.

      French oversaw 16 of Savitt’s cases. He appointed her to cases, approved her fees as well as the fees of her attorneys — sometimes over the vigorous objections from families of the ward.

      The IG was especially interested in a vacation trip French and his wife took with Savitt and Colin to the Bahamas.

      The blockbuster report found Circuit Judges Charles Burton, James Martz, Rosemarie Scher, and Leonard Hanser all appointed Savitt to guardianships in some fashion.

      Judge Scher also approved an improperly filed petition by Savitt’s lawyer, the report states.

      Circuit Judges Jack Cook and Diana Lewis — now off the bench — were involved in cases where the IG found Colin paved the way for his wife’s appointment.

      And Judge Edward Garrison approved a fee request from one of Savitt’s lawyers that was $5,000 more than requested. Fees for attorneys are taken from the ward’s money.

      Marx, French and Scher, along with Circuit Judges Howard Coates and Jessica Ticktin approved $21,500 in retainers taken by Savitt from her wards’ banking accounts that the report said violates Florida guardianship law.

      Circuit Judge Peter Blanc, the chief judge in 2012, received the initial verbal report finding a conflict of interest.

      Blanc told The Post he spoke with Colin and told him not to preside over any of his wife’s cases. Colin testified at an administrative hearing on Thursday it was he who initiated contact with Blanc. It didn’t matter. Colin admitted on the stand that he signed several orders in his wife’s cases, claiming it was an accident.

      Judge Marx, who was sitting in the Probate Division at the time, is quoted in the report admonishing Savitt in court for taking a retainer, saying: “It seems you are asking for forgiveness rather than permission.” Marx, however, approved the $8,000 retainer anyway.

      Colbath, as part of his guardianship reforms, prohibited taking of fees from wards prior to judicial approval. Palmieri said that in the 2,000 guardianship cases he’s investigated statewide, only Savitt took fees before prior judicial approval.

      ‘Unusual circumstances’

      Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen appointed Savitt under “unusual” circumstances when no parties had asked for her to be a guardian for senior Frances Berkowitz.

      Savitt’s name seemed to come out of nowhere. The two lawyers hadn’t recommended her and one even said, “I don’t think Judge Gillen did (recommend Savitt) either.”

      The clerk noted, however, that the day before Savitt was appointed, an email had gone out that gave Judge Colin and his judicial assistant “an opportunity to discuss the case with Judge Gillen or Judge Gillen’s JA.” The IG has not substantiated whether Colin or his JA read the email.

      Former attorneys for Berkowitz then tried to remove Savitt as guardian, arguing that her appointment was improper. They also claimed that $400,000 was missing from Berkowitz’s bank accounts.

      Gillen’s judicial assistant said Friday that he was reviewing the report and would have a comment next week.

      In one of the more remarkable sections of the IG report, Savitt is said to have been “the driving factor” for guardianship reform by the Florida Legislature in 2015.

      The new state guardianship office selected Savitt, though, as the first guardian against whom it is seeking sanctions. It accused her of conflict of interest and failing to act in good faith, contrary to her wards’ best interest. After the hearing last week, Administrative Law Judge Mary Li Creasy said she will issue a recommendation on sanctions in about a month.

      Savitt’s attorney, Ellen Morris, tried without success to keep the report from being entered as evidence at the hearing, saying in a motion that it contained “statements and conclusions that are highly objectionable throughout.”

      Creasy denied that motion and by accepting the report into evidence paved the way for its release by the guardianship office on Friday.

      Savitt invoked spousal privilege at the hearing so she wouldn’t have to disclose conversations she had with her husband about her cases.

      Twyla Sketchley, a veteran guardianship attorney in Tallahassee, testified that the spousal privilege went to the heart of the conflict of interest.

      “If I’m a guardian and I’m married to the judge, I can go home at night and over the dinner table, I can discuss my cases and what I need and how horrible these parties are, and none of that can be disclosed to any other parties in a proceeding,” Sketchley said. “You have a special relationship with that judge that no one else in that courtroom can or could have.”

      Colin testified that the crux of the state’s conflict of interest case against his wife was “nonsense.”

      “I had no role in the cases that she got appointed on,” Colin said. “That is not a process that would even take place if someone has an understanding of how one gets guardianship cases.”

      Colin, though, said he was friends with all the other probate judges who oversaw his wife’s cases. He also said lawyers and families chose Savitt as guardian, though many times those very lawyers appeared in front of him in other cases and relied upon Colin to approve their fees.

      One of those attorneys was Clifford Hark, who was hired by families seeking guardianships and would recommend Savitt.

      The IG investigated but couldn’t prove or disprove that Savitt’s appointments and the fact that she didn’t object to his legal fees was “quid pro quo.”

      Hark was also accused of steering cases to Savitt. The Boca Raton attorney has denied assisting Savitt in establishing herself as a guardian.

      Judge Garrison signed an order of fees for Hark of senior Helen O’Grady’s case for $14,689 when the amount sought was $5,000 less. Colin had transferred the guardianship directly to Garrison because Garrison was presiding over the probate case.

      Garrison also ordered Savitt to return $30,000 she took from O’Grady’s estate to be “held in trust” by her and her attorney.

      That attorney, Sheri Hazeltine, told The Post that Colin asked her to represent his wife in 2010 and that she felt “there was a natural measure of fear involved” in complying with the request. The report said Colin appointed Hazeltine to two cases in which the lawyer paved the way for Savitt to be appointed guardian.

      Savitt’s attorney has argued that the guardianship office does not have jurisdiction over any case prior to the Legislature endowing it with regulatory powers in March 2016.

      French, however, gave the office a perfect opening. In January 2017, after Colbath had transferred all of Savitt’s cases from him to the North County Courthouse, French appointed her to a pro bono case involving senior Mavis Samms. Savitt was required to take a pro bono case to be included on the new wheel for random appointments of guardians.

      Samms’ daughter said Savitt allowed the senior’s home to go into foreclosure, according to court documents.

      Thomas Mayes, who fought Savitt in the guardianship of his mother, Helen O’Grady, said he felt the attorneys were complicit in generating bogus litigation in order to soak the life savings of the incapacitated seniors “until there is nothing left.”

      “I am wondering if Betsy and her cronies would have to pay back the families?” said Mayes of Boynton Beach. “Hopefully they will see that she was out for herself and her cronies.”

      Fees taken before judge’s OK

      The accusations from families against professional guardian Elizabeth Savitt include missing money, overbilling and unnecessary litigation to generate fees. Here are some of them:

      •Kansas schoolteacher Helen O’Grady, 83: Elizabth Savitt took $1,724 without prior court approval and before doing any work in the guardianship case and then when O’Grady died, took $30,000 to be “held in trust” by her and attorney Sheri Hazeltine. A judge ordered them to give the money back.

      •New York accountant Robert Paul Wein, 89: Savitt acknowledged she took about $17,000 for her fees and a retainer of $8,000 from Wein’s accounts without prior court permission.

      •Chicago-area decorator Lorraine Hilton, then 94: Savitt failed to secure a bank account, which allowed it to be accessed by one of the ward’s sons, who wrote two checks totaling $49,685 for real estate, according to court documents. She also took a $2,000 retainer without prior court approval and before doing any work.

      •A Delray Beach nursing administrator Carla Simmonds: Savitt attempted to draw fees from the stroke victim’s $640,000 trust and then asked the court to allow her to drain her $46,000 IRA to pay fees for about one-quarter of its worth. Her caretaker paid $13,300 of his own money to Savitt and her lawyer to get them to withdraw from the case. Savitt initially took a $2,500 retainer without prior court approval.

      •Retired Deerfield Beach plumber Albert Vassallo Sr., 88: Savitt got a $3,000 retainer without prior court approval. She placed the senior with a daughter who siphoned off $130,000 from her dad’s savings, forcing the guardianship action by a sibling. When Vassallo passed away, Savitt tried to funnel an additional $54,000 from his estate to the daughter, court documents show.


      1. 0


        Click the link and look at or download the IG report.
        On our server forever free when it disappears from everywhere else.

        We have heard from people in two other Florida counties, Broward not one, about the exact same thing.

        Example; Hillsborough county. Guardian ad litem billing the ward $2,100 dollars for a 20 min. visit. Hendry county.

        Excuse; Attorney had to drive about 150 miles each way.
        Also hearing from Charlotte and Collier counties.

      2. 3


        That’s what happens when judges care more about pleasing their attorney friends than they do about the wards it’s their job to protect.

    3. 0


      After seeing Ana Franklin pass Mike Pence a note at the meeting and seeing the three perps escorted off stage at President Trumps Fargo rally; I would say when our President goes to AL, is her zone, the SS need to be on guard.

      Mike Pence needs to be asked what the Sheriff passed him; seems as if Soros money might have influence on compromised Leadership, eh?

    1. 11


      They had to set some sort of example with all the rotten judges in Broward at some point.
      Contini can now find solace in memorizing passages of the good book and reciting them to the homeless.
      A good man at heart. Yet another Broward judge that should never have been. This place is full of them.

        1. 0


          Contini was easy pickings. At least he had the class not to fight it like the rest of these pension squeakers. They couldn’t make it in private practice so they decide to hump taxpayers instead for every nickel they can get.

  3. 5


    What about the money owed taxpayers for all the time spent playing golf while he was supposed to be on the bench ?
    Judges in Broward continue to think this practice is somehow acceptable. With no judicial oversight this is a big problem in Broward Courts.
    Who’s watching these schleps?

    1. 0


      Any bets on what judge will be in news for being investigated next?

      Any options on why Gardiner was disbarred but Watson is disbarred permanently? How are Watsons actions worse than Gardiner’s?

        1. 10


          (Appointed Judges), are receptive to frauds.
          The UN-Elected Employees, (Appointed Judges), have No Respect for Representative Form of Government, as the appointed, they feel that they are above the expendable public through sheer entitlements.

          Fake forms and thefts by these frauds are entertained daily. And The JQC Approves of these UN-Elected, because frauds who were injected onto the bench through pay for play elections, are essentially are hopelessly corrupted.

          The UN-Elected Employees of The Courts, Display Utter Disrespect for a Representative Form of Gov. and view themselves, (and their friends), as being above the law.
          They are criminals. The JQC knows and does nothing.

  4. 8


    We get to practice law because missing court in a haze and going to jail is better than putting a closed case on the docket and sleeping in

    1. 8


      What a disappointment Contini is. Judges in Broward are known for having committed a plethora of other indignities, few of which include the administration of Justice, but playing golf on the taxpayer’s dime has to be one of the most novel and arrogant.
      Removal from the bench and five years disbarment isn’t enough.

  5. 6


    Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
    Blog owner is responsible for what is posted here by others since he picks and choses what to allow.

    From this Blog;


    The blog is not moderated for its content. (NOT TRUE).

    we reserve the right at all times to check this board and to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us in our sole discretion and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We also reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    We’ve done none of that!
    Lot’s of vile disgusting pics though.

  6. 5


    I agree John Contini’s disbarment is too harsh & would like to know the real reason why. To set an example by 10,000 lashes to someone who has no dishonest history (didn’t concoct smoke screens, squirm & fight like others, owned up to it, didn’t he?) & was maybe sloppy & a little befuddled just ain’t right. Been around going on 40 years now; not one to name names, but there’s undoubtedly a bunch of jurists wiping their brow, thanking Allah & whispering “How the hell did I skate?”

  7. 0


    Declas of FISA, incoming.

    [RR] Don’t run.
    [NO] They know about U2.

    302 signers, freak out!


    Next up 911 art students.

  8. 5


    The Sun Sentinel said to hold your nose and vote for Feren before they knew about his cousin. They should have recommended abstaining altogether

  9. 3


    The JQC and FSC can control this puppet’s site, but not ours.
    If they think we embarrassed them here, wait for the story on our site.

    Remember, we “legally” obtained the improperly un-redacted document from “their” website.

    Pretty sad when the highest trial court in the state can’t get it right.

    So Broward wants to hold the Sun Sentinel in contempt?
    Might help their defense .


  10. 5


    Dear BACDL, I am writing to request a Hat Trick Award. No other Chief Judge in history can claim three Judges removed and disbarred over unrelated matters in a five year period

    1. 16


      Maybe if Tooty concerned himself with instituting things like Judicial Rotation like they do in every other circuit, he might stem the tide of burnouts sitting on the Broward Bench. But it’s easier to bury one’s head in the sand and play at Politics.
      Wake up, Tooty and smell the coffee.
      Stop fiddling while Rome burns.

  11. 2


    New topic: have you noticed in Broward even if the police say in their reports no marks found on victim, the prosecutor will file with vengence to get a conviction against a male defendent , but if its against a female and the report says police intetviewed victim ,police saw bleeding on victim, police confirmed with an eyewitness the suspect did the harm to the victim, the prosecutor dismisses the charges against the defendant, only in Broward

  12. 9


    Playing golf on tax payer dime is far less CORRUPT and DAMAGING TO JUSTICE than judges sitting in a robe all day ruining people’s lives with rulings to help friends of friends or anyone that gave em a dollar of campaign $ or a hotel stay. They picked the wrong judge to make an example of.

    1. 5


      Are you Friggin kidding us?

      Ok, stealing over $12,00.00 from tax payers is OK.
      He wasn’t playing golf, he was writing another book, read even the redacted file from the FSC!

      JQC, FSC, passed the buck fool.

      If they all feel he did no harm, read the un-redacted version.

      He should have to pay Broward tax payers back also!

  13. 8


    Since I personally had an issue with Judge Contini where he issued an order to show cause against me for criminal contempt (over the heinous crime of interrupting him) , one would think I would be applauding his disbarment. Instead I kind of feel sorry for him. He was on the top of the world when he got elected. Now he can’t even practice law. . He should have stayed as a defense lawyer. This does not make Broward county look good.

  14. 17


    John is a casualty of his own inability to deal with his egocentric propensity to be important in a small pond of self-important Broward judges who can’t make a living at anything else but riding on the backs of taxpayers.
    The simple truth is that he should have never sought to be a judge here or anywhere else.
    The condition of judges in Broward as we have repeatedly seen is highly toxic with the outcome becoming fairly disastrous for any number of them.
    There is and never has been any leadership shown by any chief judge beyond the petty Broward political spectrum. Certainly no administrative prowess.

  15. 1


    The unemployable electrician is still at.

    SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 AT 12:17 AM

    Are you Friggin kidding us?

    Ok, stealing over $12,00.00 from tax payers is OK.
    He wasn’t playing golf, he was writing another book, read even the redacted file from the FSC!

    JQC, FSC, passed the buck fool.

    If they all feel he did no harm, read the un-redacted version.

    He should have to pay Broward tax payers back also!


    1. 0


      Seems again you praise people of questionable character. That YouTube video is three deep hearsay.

      Here’s the “REAL” Mesa Police Department. This isn’t the only one we published of them. They execute this guy. Real body-cam, real thing. He was acquitted of 2d degree murder and manslaughter.

      On January 18, 2016, Mesa Police Department officer Philip Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Leetin Shaver of Granbury, Texas in the hallway of a La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel.

      The footage shows that Shaver was on the floor as ordered and crying when he was shot five times in the back with an AR-15 rifle by Brailsford.

      The full unedited body camera footage of the shooting was unsealed by the Court immediately after the end of the trial.

  16. 23


    Former Broward Judge John Contini Speaks Out After Disbarment: ‘Why I Chose Not to Fight’

    “I don’t want to spend the next couple years of my life fighting for what I no longer enjoy practicing,” said former Broward Circuit Judge John Contini, who’s switched careers since stepping down from the bench amid a JQC investigation into allegations that he created fake dockets to avoid work.

    By Raychel Lean | September 11, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Former Broward Circuit Judge John Contini isn’t looking back.
    Contini was disbarred Sept. 5 after he resigned his judgeship on July 6 amid a Judicial Qualifications Commission investigation and allegations he created fictitious dockets to avoid work.

    Now, he says his days of practicing law feel far behind him.
    “I suspect that that was another life,” Contini, 61, said about his 35 years in the legal profession. ”I don’t want to spend the next couple years of my life fighting for what I no longer enjoy practicing. That’s why I chose not to fight.”

    Contini agreed to a five-year disbarment and has since taken up activism and opened his own mediation business.

    “I can petition to have the license back in five years if I want to, but the odds are great, and I’m already enjoying what I’m doing,” he said.

    Contini has joined two nonprofit organizations that have teamed to restore voting rights for felons in Florida — with the exception of sex offenders and murderers. He said he’s “not sitting around having a pity party or beating the victim drum,” and the career switch is “what’s in his DNA.”

    The way Contini sees it, he was a better mediator on the bench than he was a judge, something he felt was evidenced by a case count that “plummeted” under his watch.

    “For all the accusations against me, I went from 1,150 cases that I inherited when I beat the incumbent judge, and I brought it down to 717, the lowest case count in the courthouse,” he said.

    ‘I Wasn’t a Very Good Fit ’
    The JQC’s complaint against Contini alleged that he took more than 30 days off work without informing Chief Judge Jack Tuter.

    “There’s clearly not a work-ethic issue here. I just took a lot of those cases out of the courthouse and I worked on them in my own time in a more joyful ambiance — in my favorite bakery, as an example,” Contini said. “We had hundreds of emails sent at 10 p.m., 11 p.m. at night resolving all these cases and writing all these orders. That would all be shown in a trial one day, but we opted not to go through all that because it would be too exhausting and financially depleting. It would take years, and put my family through too much hell and grief. I don’t want to fight for it anymore. I’ve moved on.”

    Contini also allegedly had his assistant run personal errands for him, including management of bills and finances, travel plans and other nonjudicial matters, despite the employee’s objections.

    “I was always a little different as a judge. My remarks at one point were considered intemperance. I would talk too street, if you will,” he said. “Other times, it seems that I wasn’t a very good fit in terms of the way they liked to see you follow the old guard.”

    In all, the JQC charged Contini with violating 10 canons of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct, and also made allegations about his courtroom manner.

    “As a judge, they want you to be an umpire and call balls and strikes only, and let the better lawyer win. It was hard for me to do that when I would see an injustice occurring in front of me every 30 minutes,” Contini said.

    Contini spent the final four years of a 35-year legal career as a judge in Broward Circuit’s family division. Before that, he was a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

    “That’s more than half my life. That’s enough. I don’t need to practice law anymore,” he said. “I’ll miss my endearing friendships with many of my colleagues, lawyers and judges alike, and I wish them nothing but the best, but I’ve moved on to doing different things that I find more enjoyable.”

    It was an unexpected ending for a man who said he wanted to become a judge to extend his contribution to his community.

    “When I was a lawyer I could only help one family for the week or the month, and that was a good feeling, but I really wanted to help more people at a time,” he said.

    But that feeling didn’t last, when the former mediator realized he wasn’t a good fit for the bench.

    “It was happening throughout the four years, as there was a number of times I was too outspoken and was caused to have to go to Orlando the JQC,” he said. ”A judge is supposed to listen more and speak less, and be essentially an umpire. But when I saw any kind of injustice in front of me I would always get too involved.”

    ‘Nobody Really Wants to Be There’

    Contini also said he won’t miss the “toxic, oppressive environment” of the courthouse and its “adversarial nature.”

    “I’m blessed to be away from the adversity and all of the oppression that exists in that system. After 35 years, that takes a toll on anybody,” he said. “Nobody really wants to be there. They’re there because they’re either suing somebody else or being sued, going through a divorce or prosecution. It’s a very unhappy environment.”

    But Broward Chief Judge Jack Tuter disagreed.

    “Being a judge is an extraordinarily privileged job, and we all take very seriously what we do here at the courthouse,” Tuter said. “I’m not aware of any complaints from John Contini to me while he was on the bench.”

    Contini, meanwhile, has since turned his focus to the proposed Florida Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, on the ballot this November.

    “I was known as a second-chance judge, and that’s why I am excited to be bringing awareness to Amendment 4,” he said.

    Florida is one of only four states in the nation that bar felons from voting, a policy Contini feels is ”unconscionable.”

    Despite the allegations made against him in the latter part of his career, Contini felt he “honestly had a great run.”

    “I helped a lot of people get second chances as a criminal defense lawyer. And as a judge, I was able to get many of the families to stop destroying each other’s lives,” he said. “I feel blessed that I had the chance to help all of those hurting families. I’d prefer to just move on with my life and wish everybody well.”


    1. 16


      Good for you John. You were always too good for these scumbags. Unlike the rest of these clowns you have a heart and conscience and tell it as it is.
      Tuter’s privledge only extends to the depth of taxpayer’s pockets in his so called judicial administration.
      It’s just a shell game to these people. Good luck with whatever path you take. Enjoy the absents of these judicial jokers who can’t make it elsewhere.

    2. 11


      Tuter must be delusional if he isn’t aware of the many problems among Broward judges. Is he asleep or something ? How many judges have gone down the drain under his tenure as CJ ?
      They make drugs for attention deficit.

    3. 9


      I didnt read his reaons for wrongfully sealing a case for his friend Bill Lewis. Was that due to all the pressue and toxic nature of the courthouse? He probably didnt answer questions since there could be a criminal investigation .How about trying to male disbarred attorney Lee Cohn his JA? Fun fact, while suspended from practicing law Lee Cohnn got busted going to court saying .

      John runs with scammers like this and still thinks he is above the hardworking honest people who work in the courthiuse. Good riddence.

  17. 26



    1. 11


      And now you have a former broward judge coming out and spilling the beans on what is really going on !
      Broward judges really would be a laugh if this weren’t so sad….

  18. 12


    Good for Jon.
    The courthouse is a filthy and depressive environment with bullies on the bench pouring salt in wounds.
    There’s no reason for it.
    It makes everything worse for everyone involved.
    I know the argument: Judges are people too. They are as unhappy and neurotic as anyone, it’s how they process stress. Let it go.
    I don’t care anymore. It’s wrong.
    There should be leadership from the Bench, not basket cases.
    It doesn’t have to be this way.

  19. 16



  20. 8


    I have read the blog for more than 10 years. For that entire time, all you people have done is complain about the current crop of judges. All of you have whined that the judges should be replaced. Well you have replaced several judges with many of you whining complainers. Well how well have you whiners done as judges? Let’s see, Pollack, Ehrlich, Contini, and Backman. All new replacement judges you have asked for. Perhaps you should stop complaining. Perhaps being a judge is not as easy as you think. Perhaps you should worry about your own career.

    1. 11


      You finally got rid of me you little bastards. It all started with you! And I was the best thing that ever happened to this circuit !
      I kept all these psychos in a grip of fear that kept them all under control. LOL

    2. 27


      On the contrary. Being a judge in the 17th is the easiest job there could be. You can come to work drugged, drunk, or not get out of bed to come to work at all.
      Empty courtrooms ? So what. No supervision, two day work weeks, make up fake dockets to pretend you’re working, campaign on the taxpayer’s dime, rack up a big pension if you can hang out long enough, pay to play all you want with your political cronies, have three hour lunches and get some small fry to pick up the tab and then go home to take a nap, go into drop, get your payout, and then come back as a retired judge and do it all over again.
      Not to mention get your wife, son, daughter or latest girlfriend after you’ve divorced your wife or husband to squirrel their way into becoming a judge too to double your net.
      Nepotism ? No big deal. Voters never have to know a thing. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
      Just wrap yourself in the flag and act pius with a spiel that you think will sell to a bunch of geriatrics and play the name game of the week.

      Yep. Its a great gig if you can get it and the perks are great.

      1. 5


        Don’t forget Vegas. Or, better to completely forget Vegas. That’s where high rollers used to make payback for all the sloppy court appointments.

  21. 14


    I think Gardiner is prohibited 🚫 from holding any public office from what I remember was part of the deal after the JQCcaught her red handed lying with the 1400 text and phone calls with the prosecutor trying a first degree murder case before her. That’s what I recall. She was fried after that. So much for her aspirations of becoming a Federal Judge. Bad news that one.

  22. 22


    It’s not like we don’t already know what a cluster crap Broward Courts are but at least Contini puts it out there where it belongs. Not that the Scum Sentinel will pick up on this one. Judges in Broward are a toxic bunch adding to a Dysfunctionality that starts with Chief Judge Tuter who obviously doesn’t care or is in so far over his head that he doesn’t know what to do about it other than come up with the most utterly stupid responses one could imagine someone in his position to make. I’ve heard so many ridiculous excuses from this guy it defies any logical reasoning.
    Just how many more Broward judges going off the deep end is it going to take before Tuter wakes up to the systemic judicial meltdown that is plaguing Broward Courts.
    The list is long and his judicial administration continues to be short on answers.

    If daddy could only see me now …

    1. 14


      Really, you condone theft? Using a public elected office for a well thought out organized theft?

      Read the JQC charges. He wasn’t working on cases in his local bakery, or playing golf, he was working on his next book and making taxpayer pay him for it. He forced his JA to edit the transcripts.

      We can think of a couple of good reasons to harm someone, I.E. Self-defense or the defense of another, but not one single good reason to STEAL from someone.

      Everyone also knows a thief is on the top of the list of persons not to be trusted.

      Remember, we have the original JQC complaint filed on the 23rd. We have not published it like the Sentinel did with the school board, but that doesn’t mean we have not read it.


    2. 11


      The similarities to a con man are inescapable… just another Broward judge that didn’t go according to plan. He’s not alone.

    3. 5



  23. 11


    Contini’s excuse for not fighting his disbarment is highly implausible and self-serving not to mention ridiculous.
    Just another diatribe by yet another disgraced Broward judge.

    1. 4


      Sadden by Gina. She’s super smart. Loss of talent.
      Bruce won’t save anyone… No escape. Q-
      Many being Waston’i’zed.
      The Judicial Watsonfacation is the new tool by corrupt judges to suppress truth.

      Broward Cowards standing by.

  24. 13



      1. 0


        President Kaplan. Sounds good to me.
        I am running for something in 2020.

        Kaplan for President?
        Kaplan for Clerk of Courts?
        Kaplan for Supervisor of Elections?
        Kaplan for Sheriff?
        Kaplan for Judge?
        Kaplan for State Attorney?
        Kaplan for Public Defender?

        I will announce my decision soon.

  25. 2


    Thank you for your tireless efforts Anons.
    Please keep hammering away at the wall for all the millions of patriotic Americans trying to take our country back from this savage assault on our freedoms and constitution.

  26. 12


    I will decide who will be The President.
    The Obama FBI will back me, and harm all who gets in our way.
    The public are my sheep. I shall rule over The World.

  27. 16


    2020 cannot come quickly enough. The end of the Evil Empire run by Dwarf Vader and his henchman. The PD office will be a good working environment again. Good riddance and don’t leave a forwarding address.

        1. 8


          PD candidates so far:
          Gordon Weekes
          Johnny Weekes
          Marya Weekes
          Richard Kaplan
          Teresa Williams
          Jim Lewis

          Very interesting indeed.

          1. 6


            Nah..Teresa is going to put in for SAO and win this time around.

            Jim Lewis filed as a Dem for the PD job & should win easily.

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