Miami-Dade County judge suspended for failing to disclose free trips in financial forms

Judge Maria Ortiz suspended for 90 days, fined $5,000


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami-Dade County judge has been suspended without pay for 90 days for failing to disclose three free trips she took with her spouse in her financial disclosure forms, an order from the Supreme Court of Florida stated. 

Judge Maria Ortiz, of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, must also pay a $5,000 fine and $377.45 for the cost of the proceedings.

She must also appear before the court at a later date for the administration of a public reprimand.

According to the order, Ortiz's husband filled out her financial disclosure forms and failed to report that the accommodations and other benefits received for the trips were free.

The order stated that Ortiz was unaware of this at the time of the trips and admitted to failing to verify the accuracy of her 2016 and 2017 financial disclosures, even though she signed a certificate stating that the information in the financial disclosures was accurate.

"She has apologized for her misconduct and deeply regrets that her negligence may have damaged the public's perception of the judiciary or impugned the integrity of her colleagues," the order stated.

Ortiz's suspension will begin within 15 days after Tuesday, the date of the order. 

About the Author: