Judge In Hot Water For Promoting Her Ministry

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge is facing ethics charges alleging she’s using her office to promote a private interest — her for-profit religious ministry.

An investigative panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission filed the allegation on Wednesday against Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins.

The panel accused the Tallahassee-based judge of selling or attempting to sell religious books, study guides and other publications to lawyers and staffers at the county courthouse.

It noted a website for her business, Gaza Road Ministries, includes pictures of Hawkins in her judicial robes, one showing her sitting on the court bench.

She’s also accused of using her judicial assistant, courthouse office and equipment to create, edit and promote her products.

Hawkins did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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