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June 15, 2014
Judge Sheehan reprimanded for DUI

A circuit judge arrested for drunken driving last year will be publicly reprimanded by the Supreme Court.

The court on May 15 accepted a stipulation between the Judicial Qualifications Commission and 13th Circuit Judge Brenda Sheehan resulting from her traffic stop on July 5, 2013, with the resulting Breathalyzer tests showing more than double the legal blood alcohol levels.

The judge eventually pleaded guilty and then reached a stipulation with the JQC where she accepted full responsibility and noted she had taken steps to ensure there would be no recurrences. The stipulation also noted that the judge had not previously had any such charges and that the incident was isolated.

The stipulation found the judge had violated Canons 1 and 2A of the Code of Judicial conduct.

The court accepted the recommendation of a public reprimand, noting that corresponded with the sanctions given previously to judges with isolated incidents of DUI.

The court also noted, “Judge Sheehan’s conduct at issue in this case — driving under the influence of alcohol — is reprehensible. Judge Sheehan’s action of driving under the influence not only violated Florida’s criminal law but also endangered the public. Such disregard of criminal law and public safety undermines the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and will not be tolerated.”

Judge Sheehan was ordered to appear before the court October 8 to receive the reprimand.

The court acted in Inquiry Concerning a Judge, No. 13-309 Re: Brenda Tracy Sheehan, case no. SC14-136.

[Revised: 12-21-2014]