Commission: Florida judge should be suspended for favoritism

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A judicial commission is recommending that a Florida judge be suspended for a month for steering 80 percent of her arbitration cases to a mediator who was an unpaid adviser on her 2014 election campaign.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission made the recommendation regarding Broward County Judge Claudia Robinson to the Florida Supreme Court, which has final say. The SunSentinel reports that Robinson accepted the findings that concluded she showed favoritism.

The commission found Robinson sent nearly 300 civil and small claims cases into mediation between April 2015 and March 2017. More than 80 percent were assigned to Michael Ahearn, who worked on Robinson's 2014 campaign.

Ahearn says he has handled thousands of mediation cases over 15 years and did nothing wrong. The commission did not find wrongdoing on his part.

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