Last year Judge William “Jack” Singbush of Florida was accused of continually arriving late to work, taking long and frequent smoking breaks and making an unnecessary and inappropriate religious statement at a motions hearing.
Now, after the Supreme Court of Florida issued a public reprimand, the Judge has agreed to apologize in a public letter. But will a simple apology note expunge the blemishes he has marked on his own reputation?
Singbush may be highly educated in the law department, but perhaps he could use a lesson in understanding the concept of “a time and a place” when it comes to other activities. You would think that a well respected and admired figure in the community, may have considered taking fewer and shorter smoking breaks—or hey, maybe none at all. You might also think he would be polite enough to save his religious remarks for church.
The court system is predicated on respect, decorum, and orderliness, so it becomes (rightly) problematic when a judge appears to disregard all three. How can officials expect the public to walk into a court room and sit before a judge who degrades his own duties and thus the credibility of the court room entirely?
In addition to writing an apology letter, Judge Singbush must also keep track of his court arrival times. I don’t know about the local citizens, but I for one find it absurd that the man who is in charge of ruling out the important, pressing decisions for the community is also responsible for keeping a log of what time he gets to work. I wonder which task he will spend more time on.