A Broward County judge, who was convicted of DUI last year by a Palm Beach County jury, is back in court this morning, fighting to make sure the conviction doesn’t destroy her judicial career.
|Broward County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato, right,|
A six-member panel is hearing evidence at the Palm Beach County Courthouse about whether the 58-year-old tried to use her position to avoid arrest when she was pulled over by Boca police on Palmetto Park Road after attending a networking event sponsored by justice associations in Palm Beach and Broward counties. The panel is also weighing her behavior, such as refusing a Breathalyzer, during the arrest. A decision won’t be made for at least two months.
Her attorney David Rothman argued that Imperato, a former prosecutor who has been on the bench since 2003, has been punished enough. She has been pilloried in the press, he said. Further, he said, she has accepted full responsibility for her actions. Ignoring her attorney’s advice, she pulled the plug on an appeal of her conviction and served her 20-day sentence on house arrest. She even apologized to the officers who arrested her, he said.
Attorney David McGee, who is representing the judicial watchdog group in the proceedings, argued that the DUI arrest wasn’t her first. She was arrested in Tallahassee, where she worked as a police officer, shortly before graduating from law school in 1988.
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Broward judge in PBC court, fighting for career