Former Sheriff Jim Manfre’s candidacy for county judge was dead on arrival at interviews for the job Wednesday, but he still managed to influence the process by advocating for a Flagler choice.
seventh judicial circuit
After 24 interviews by a nominating commission, several Flagler County based candidates for Flagler County judge stood out for the short-list that will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’ll make the appointment later this year.
With two days to go before the application window closes, eight candidates have applied to be appointed Flagler County judge, the second county judge seat the Legislature approved in its last session to share the docket of County Judge Melissa Distler.
The Judicial Nominating Commission for the Seventh Judicial Circuit is taking applications for the newly created Flagler County Judge seat, leaving Gov. Ron DeSantis to make the appointment likely this fall.
The decision amounts to a brutal condemnation of Scott DuPont’s behavior by the state’s highest court and a signal to other prospective judges that zero tolerance applies with regards to violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Flagler and Putnam Circuit Judge Scott DuPont, facing removal, filed his last pleading before the Florida Supreme Court decides his fate in the next few weeks.
A devastating 21-page opinion by a disciplinary judicial commission repeats in harsher language a call for Judge Scott DuPont’s removal, a recommendation going before the Supreme Court.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins will replace Dennis Craig, who’s headed back to Volusia, becoming the sixth judge in eight years to preside over Flagler County’s felony court.
Flagler County will lose Family Judge R. Lee Smith to Putnam after less than two years and gain newly-minted Judge Chris France, among other changes caused by the DuPont affair.
Chief Judge Raul Zambrano’s order, delivered to DuPont by letter today, is as close to the firing of a judge short of a Supreme Court impeachment, and follows an investigation’s withering recommendation for removal.