FORT LAUDEDALDE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court has given a Broward County judge convicted of driving under the influence until mid-February to justify keeping her position.
A Feb. 15 deadline was set Tuesday for Judge Cynthia Imperato to explain why she should remain on the bench.
The Supreme Court previously rejected a recommended penalty of temporary suspension without pay after her December 2014 DUI conviction.
Last fall, the Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended a new penalty: a public reprimand, a $20,000 fine, a three-month suspension without pay and alcohol evaluation and treatment.
The Supreme Court now wants Imperato to explain why she should not be removed from office.
Imperato, who was first appointed a judge in 2003 and was subsequently re-elected, was arrested on a DUI charge in Boca Raton in November 2013. She refused to submit to a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test, so there was no physical evidence to prove that she was intoxicated at the time of her arrest.
The judge's administrative assistant, Marlene Henderson, told Local 10 News that Imperato was out of the office for the remainder of the week.