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Florida judge violated ethics rules by turning court into reality show

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Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly

She has 20 days to file a formal response to the commission’s charges. The Florida Supreme Court would ultimately decide any potential punishment.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly was accused Wednesday ,violated judicial ethics rules when she turned her courtroom into a reality show using real victims involved in domestic violence cases, a panel ruled.

Of abusing her position by inviting a television crew to film a show called “Protection Court,” the Miami Herald reported.

“You lent the prestige of your judicial office to advance the private interests of yourself or others,” Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission said Wednesday in a notice of formal charges.

The panel charged Kelly with violating six rules governing judicial ethics in the state during her run of the daytime TV show.

The show, which appeared on several local affiliate networks, followed proceedings in domestic violence and abuse cases, including those seeking restraining orders.

The commission claimed Kelly oversaw cases in which people were filmed even though they did not give consent or sign agreements.

In other cases, they claimed Kelly and her producers gave them “minimal notice” that they would be asked to sign a release to be filmed.

The panel’s findings come despite Kelly securing a Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee opinion in September 2018 that said the filming of the show was not an ethical issue and should be decided by the court administration.

“We can only say that none of the canons in Florida’s Code of Judicial Conduct address this topic directly,” the committee said at the time, according to the report.

Kelly’s attorney, David Rothman, declined to comment on the new allegations, the Miami Herald reported.

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