“Tough” Judge in FL gets DUI, looks like she won’t get tough punishment

judgesheehanHere is the story of a judge in Florida who made a reputation for being tough on people whom she thought did the wrong thing.  It seems that the same rules don’t apply to her.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Lying on the cold, concrete bench of a jail cell Friday night, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan thought a lot about the decision that landed her there.

After dinner in South Tampa earlier that night, she and a cousin had gone out for drinks in Ybor City, she recounted from home Saturday morning. The pair bar-hopped between Gaspar’s Grotto, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Green Iguana, she said.

Then, at about 11 p.m., they headed back to her home off of Bayshore Boulevard.

But they didn’t get very far.

As Sheehan, 53, drove away from an Ybor City parking garage, a Tampa police officer noticed her drifting across lanes, according to an arrest report. A field sobriety test showed signs of impairment and she had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, the report stated. The officer charged her with drunken driving.

Sheehan, whose legal first name is Brenda, was arrested on the misdemeanor charge and booked into the Hillsborough County jail. Her blood-alcohol content was recorded at 0.171 and 0.161 percent, jail records show. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired when blood alcohol is above 0.08 percent.

She was released on $500 bail early Saturday morning…

Elected to the court in 2007, Sheehan built a reputation as being tough on abusive and neglectful parents while having a soft spot for children’s causes. She once donated $100,000 from her retirement fund to build a children’s shelter after surviving cancer.

In 2012, a war of words with the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s Office over a boy in her court got her reassigned to the satellite courthouse in Plant City, where she now hears family law, divorce and probate cases. She was re-elected to a six-year term in 2012.

And here is the Tampa Bay Times’ follow-up story:

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan will likely keep her job after a weekend arrest for driving under the influence.

Chief Judge Manuel Menendez Jr. does not plan to discipline Sheehan, and in similar cases reviewed by the Tampa Bay Times, Florida judges accused of a first-time DUI kept their jobs.

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