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Miami-Dade Judge Accepts Punishment For Misconduct

Roberto Koltun, El Nuevo Herald

A Miami-Dade County judge accused of misconduct has accepted the punishment recommended by the Florida Supreme Court.

Judge Jacqueline Schwartz will pay a $10,000 fine and be out of work for a month without pay.

The agreement filed with the state Supreme Court is harsher than the public reprimand and letter of apology approved by the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC). The high court wanted steeper penalties.

Schwartz is accused of making an obscene comment and threatening to sue a Coconut Grove convenience-store owner who wouldn't allow her campaign sign on his property.

The other allegation involves notes that Schwartz jotted down on official documents from a court case. Schwartz later told her bailiff to remove those pages from the court file. The pages are missing, and the JQC says that could interfere with any appeals in the case.

Schwartz has already sent a letter of apology to the store owner, but hasn’t been publicly reprimanded yet.

News Service of Florida contributed to this report.