In what only can be viewed as bad news for Broward Judge John Jay Hurley, the Florida Supreme Court has taken a hardline on campaign violations by judicial candidates. In May, The Court punished Indian River Circuit Court Judge Victoria L. Griffin for operating her campaign before actually filing for office.
In April, the Judicial Qualifying Commission (JQC) recommended formal proceedings against Griffin for violations of Florida Statutes 106.021 (1) which requires a candidate to file for office before appointing a campaign treasurer, opening a campaign bank account and accepting any money. Judge Griffin admitted to loaning her campaign $5,900 on May 1, 2014. On the same day, her treasurer issued a $5,803.20 check to cover the campaign filing fee. Griffin filed the required form DS-DE9 on May 2, 2014, the last day candidates could qualify for office.
When informed of the violation, Griffin told the Florida Division of elections, “In order to be able to file the qualification documentation with the Division before the deadline, my loan contribution was used to open a campaign account on the afternoon prior to the Division qualification filing the next morning. I have been made aware, and I now understand, that the opening of my campaign account prior to the Division filling was not in compliance with Division guidelines…”
The Florida Supreme Court this was a violation of Florida election law.
Judge Griffin agreed to a public reprimand from The Florida Supreme Court to be issued September 2015.
Less than a week after the Court made its decision in the Griffin case, REDBROWARD reported Broward County Judge John Jay Hurley violated the same election guidelines.
Official records show Judge Hurley violated Florida elections laws by accepting campaign contributions before he became a candidate for elected office. Hurley filed his Form DS-DE 9 with the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE) on April 10, 2015.
However, campaign financial reports filed show Judge Hurley was accepting contributions as far back as February 2015.
The Hurley campaign filed three separate campaign treasurer’s reports on the same day with the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE). Even though Hurley did not file his Form DS-DE 9 until April, the first two reports cover February and March. The third report, which covers April 2015, includes contributions made before Hurley filed his Form DS-DE 9.
The first report shows the campaign accepted a $1000 contribution from Judge Hurley himself on February 3, 2015. This contribution was made more than two months before Hurley filed his Form DS-DE 9 with SOE.
The second report lists a $1000 check from George Cable of Fort Lauderdale.
The third report has two contributions made before the April 10th filing of Hurley’s Form DS-DE 9. On April 7th, the campaign received a $250 contribution from the Law Office of Lawrence Wolk, a Fort Lauderdale law firm. On April 9th, Hurley accepted a $1000 contribution from Mark McCarthy, a Pompano Beach licensed private investigator.
It is unclear if any complaints regarding Hurley’s campaign shenanigans have been made to the Judicial Qualifying Commission.