Broward Foreclosure Judge Ana Gardiner Accused of Improper Conduct Stays Away from Courthouse

I wonder how this will effect her VERY favorable rulings for the Banks?

Was there also improper conduct catering to these “lenders” in hopes of “protection”?

Did She Allow Bogus (Literally) Mortgage Assignments stand as sufficient evidence to take away someones home?



Broward Judge Accused of Misconduct

March 03, 2010|By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel



Broward Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner may be stripped of her judgeship because she and a prosecutor had a close and inappropriate relationship, exchanging hundreds of phone calls and text messages while she oversaw a murder trial he was prosecuting, a state judicial watchdog agency charged Wednesday.

Over a 155-day period in 2007, Gardiner and then prosecutor Howard Scheinberg exchanged 949 calls and 471 text messages, averaging 9.35 communications a day, according to the complaint filed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

“That’s a lot of talking. They certainly created a situation that would cause someone to ask questions,” said Bob Dekle, a University of Florida law professor. “Whether they were talking about the case or not they were engaging in activity that could cause concern to the people on the other side, it’s called an appearance of impropriety.”

Because of the allegations of an improper relationship between judge and prosecutor, the defendant in the case, who had been sentenced to death, has been granted a new trial.

Gardiner, 48, is also accused of improperly discussing and joking about the case with Scheinberg, 49, at Timpano’s, an upscale Fort Lauderdale restaurant, four days before a Broward County jury returned a guilty verdict.

On March 27, 2007, jurors found Omar Loureiro, 47, guilty of first-degree murder for nearly decapitating a Lighthouse Point man he had accompanied home from a bar. On Aug. 24, 2007, Gardiner sentenced Loureiro to death.

Gardiner failed to disclose her relationship with Scheinberg to the defense attorney, according to the watchdog complaint filed Wednesday. She also allegedly misled the commission’s investigative panel when it questioned her in 2008 about the relationship.

It’s the JQC’s job to investigate allegations of misconduct by judges in Florida. Accused judges are entitled to a procedure similar to a trial where evidence and witness testimony are presented, but most judges resolve such cases in negotiated agreement with the commission. The Florida Supreme Court must approve any disciplinary outcome, up to and including dismissal.

Gardiner did not return repeated calls made to her chambers and cell phone by the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday. Her former attorney, Jack Goldberger, did not return two calls.

The alleged actions by the judge “would constitute conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary; would demonstrate your unfitness to hold the office of judge; and would warrant discipline, including, but not limited to, your removal from office,” the complaint informed Gardiner.

A former divorce attorney, Gardiner was Broward’s first female Hispanic judge when she was appointed to the bench in 1998 by then-Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Broward prosecutor and Sunrise City Commissioner Sheila Alu, who dined with Gardiner and Scheinberg at Timpano’s, first brought the judge’s alleged misconduct to light.

Alu declined to comment Wednesday on the JQC investigation other than to say she did not make a complaint to the agency.

In sworn depositions, Gardiner and Scheinberg have both said they happened to bump into one another at Timpano’s. They conceded to an “appearance of impropriety,” but denied discussing the case.

The JQC all but accused the judge of lying, noting that during Loureiro’s trial and beyond, she and the prosecutor made 3,388 calls and text messages to each other.

“[Gardiner] failed to reveal the personal relationship and the thousands of calls and text messages between you and Mr. Scheinberg,” the agency wrote. “Your answer demonstrates a lack of candor toward the commission.”

Since the controversy over her conduct blew up, Gardiner has been transferred to civil cases and Scheinberg has moved into private practice, initially joining Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, the high-profile Fort Lauderdale law firm that imploded last fall when founder Scott Rothstein’s billion-dollar Ponzi scheme collapsed. Scheinberg is now a solo practitioner.

The onetime prosecutor was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Florida Bar last May.

“There was no relationship between those two,” Scheinberg’s attorney, Bruce Lyons, said Wednesday. “If you or anyone else’s spin is that’s a lot of calls and they must have been doing something, you would be incorrect. Did they communicate, yes. Did they communicate about this case, the answer is no.”

After Alu made her allegations in a sworn affidavit, the Florida Supreme Court sent Loureiro’s case back to the Broward courts for a new trial, which has been set for June 7. A Palm Beach County circuit judge will preside.

Loureiro’s defense attorney, Michael Tenzer, said he didn’t know yet if the complaint against Gardiner would have any bearing on the new trial.

“This is still ongoing, so I’m reluctant to give you my honest reaction,” Tenzer said.


Inquiry Concerning a Judge No. 09-48 and 08-162 Re Judge Ana Gardiner

3 Responses to “Broward Foreclosure Judge Ana Gardiner Accused of Improper Conduct Stays Away from Courthouse”
  1. vic tobin gardiner says:

    chief judge victor tobin had full knowledge and supported ana gardiner’s corrupt behavior. Tobin also had ex parte communications with Stu Rosenfeldt. Tobin is as bad and deceitful as they come. He is dirty.

  2. 2 Pirates over 40 says:

    So nice to know big brother is watching them as well.
    I don’t know about the rest of you ,but I don’t call my signifigant other 9 times a day or anyone that I work closely with.
    Makes you wonder…………….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  3. dinsfla says:

    For those of you unfamiliar with the area Timpano’s Restaurant, is also around the corner from the “courthouse”.

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