Arrest mug of Broward Circuit Judge Gisele Pollack ()
Though acknowledging a series of alcohol-related incidents including a drunken-driving arrest, a Broward judge contends that a potential removal from the bench is unwarranted.
Attorneys for County Court Judge Gisele Pollack this week filed a document responding to an investigative panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. That panel in May submitted a notice of formal charges against Pollack.
Her attorneys said the incidents were caused by alcohol dependence and Pollack is successfully receiving treatment.
Pollack’s “judicial and legal career are and have been exemplary and without discipline or complaint of any type, save and except for the issues that gave rise to this investigation over a period in excess of 25 years,” said the filing posted Thursday on the Florida Supreme Court website. “The ultimate sanction of removal is unwarranted in this case. The appropriate sanction is reprimand with special conditions that address this disability.”
The investigative panel charged Pollack was intoxicated on the bench Dec. 17 and later agreed she would refrain from using alcohol.
But documents filed with the Supreme Court alleged Pollack was again impaired on the bench March 19.
She took a leave of absence to enter an inpatient substance-abuse program but walked away from that program May 1.
The documents said Pollack was involved in an automobile accident early on the morning of May 2 and was charged with driving under the influence causing property damage.