Maybe you remember Miami-Dade County Judge Jacqueline Schwartz from previous headlines. She's the judge who told a Coconut Grove convenience store clerk "go fuck yourself" in a row involving an opponent's campaign sign. She also once sent out an election victory email boasting about being an "Anglo" who defeated a "nondescript Hispanic."
Well, she's back at it again. According to a report by the state's Judicial Qualifications Committee (JCQ), in
Update: The State Supreme Court has ruled that Schwartz will be suspended, but will still mull over whether the suspension should be with or without pay.
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Schwartz's attorney, however, claims that she wasn't drunk and that her behavior was the result of side effects from a new medication.
On March 18, Schwartz showed up at the Ergon Greek Restaurant in Coconut Grove and appeared to be unsteady on her feet and slurring her words. She ended up knocking over a glass of wine and spilled water on the restaurant's floor while trying to refill her glass.
When a waiter refused to serve her more alcohol, Schwartz snapped.
“I want to speak with the fucking owner. You are a fucking idiot — you don’t know who I am!" she allegedly yelled at the waiter while also threatening to have him fired.
Her behavior was so upsetting that other patrons called 911, but when police showed up, Schwartz taunted them by calling them "pigs." She also said there was nothing they could do to her because she's a judge. Eventually, a friend had to drive Schwartz home.
Ten days later, on March 28, Schwartz showed up to work at the South Dade Government Center and also seemed to be impaired. Other court officials, attorneys, and police officers present say Schwartz was slurring her words, couldn't walk straight, and had trouble concentrating.
Schwartz was sent home but had to be talked out of driving herself there. Eventually, her bailiff drove her home, but she forgot her address and, at times during the drive, forgot what car she was in or why she was there.
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The JCQ also found there were allegations in 2014 that Schwartz may have previously shown up drunk to work.
Schwartz told the JCQ that she'd had nothing to drink during the restaurant incident. “Frankly, I do not believe that I have committed any ethical violation," she said.
In her defense, Schwartz claimed she was suffering from side effects of a new medication. However, didn't provide documentation of a new prescription and admitted she wasn't taking it properly.
The JCQ has recommended to the State Supreme Court that Schwartz be suspended. She has 20 days to file a response.