Whistleblower says former judge lied on stand

Ana Gardiner accused of having 'significant and emotional relationship' with prosecutor during murder trial

Published On: Nov 30 2012 05:41:43 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 01 2012 02:00:02 AM EST
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -

The woman who said a former Broward County judge discussed the facts of a murder trial with a prosecutor claims the judge lied on the stand during a Florida Bar trial.

Former judge Ana Gardiner testified in a Florida Bar trial this week to try and save her law license. The Florida Bar claims that Gardiner had a secret "significant and emotional relationship" with prosecutor Howard Scheinberg and lied about it under oath.

"She lied in her deposition. She lied to the JQC. She lied on the stand," said Sunrise City Commissioner and state prosecutor Sheila Alu.

According to the Bar, she exchanged 949 phone calls and 471 text messages with Scheinberg during the trial of Omar Loureiro, whom Gardiner gave the death penalty.

Alu said the two went to a restaurant on Las Olas and discussed the trial.

"They sat down at the table and they started talking about a trial they were in," said Alu, who was sitting at the table with the pair. "I had just taken the ethics course of the Bar exam and I believed what they told us to do."

The allegations led to an investigation. Gardiner and Scheinberg denied discussing the case or having a close relationship, but two more witnesses came forward and testified to Alu's version of the events and the judge’s phone records revealed thousands of texts between the two.

Gardiner resigned in 2010 after the Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges against her.

The Florida Bar took up the case and is expected to rule within 30 days on whether Gardiner will keep her law license.

"I don't want her to lose her Bar license. I want her to tell the truth and that will never happen," said Alu.