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With a half-dozen newly appointed members, Palm Beach County, Fla.’s 15th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will soon be reviewing candidates to replace Circuit Court Judge Howard Berman, who resigned late Friday. Berman says he will step down from the bench on Nov. 1, scuttling a Judicial Qualifications Commission hearing, which was to have begun Monday, on allegations by four women that they were sexually harassed by the judge. “I respect the JQC,” Berman said in a written statement late Friday. “However, I have come to realize that there is no way that true justice can prevail.” Berman is the third Florida circuit court judge to resign in the past year after being investigated by the JQC for alleged sexual harassment. The other two judges were in Hillsborough County. Berman has been a circuit court judge since 1989, and was a county court judge for three years before that. Berman’s current term expires in November 2003. The 15th Circuit JNC will review the applications of those seeking appointment for the remainder of Berman’s term, then send a list of recommended finalists to Floria Gov. Jeb Bush, who will make the appointment. David Ackerman, a partner at Ackerman Link & Sartory in West Palm Beach, heads the Palm Beach County JNC. He says that after he receives a letter from Bush officially notifying him of Berman’s resignation, his panel will announce deadlines for receiving applications and dates on which interviews will be conducted.

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