Florida Record

Monday, November 18, 2019

7th Judicial Circuit judge previously removed from office is suspended


By Karen Kidd | Oct 28, 2019


TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — St. Augustine attorney and former circuit court judge Scott C. Dupont, removed from office last year, has been suspended following an Oct. 10 Florida Supreme Court order over alleged judicial campaign violations, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.

"While a judge Dupont engaged in multiple judicial campaign violations while running for re-election," the state bar said in its Oct. 24 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Based upon information obtained from Internet searches and without corroborating it, Dupont disseminated defamatory and inaccurate allegations about his opponent and his opponent’s family."

In its two-page order issued Oct. 10, the Supreme Court approved the consent judgment reached between Dupont and the state bar and suspended Dupont for 91 days with proof of rehabilitation set as a reinstatement requirement.

The consent judgment also includes Dupont’s conditional guilty plea. That order also required Dupont to pay $1,250 in costs.

Dupont's suspension initially was set to be effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests. The court issued another order on Oct. 24 announcing Dupont had informed the high court that he no longer is practicing law and the court made his suspension effective Oct. 21.

Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of Dupont's suspension.

Dupont was admitted to the bar in Florida on April 12, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website. No prior discipline before the state bar is listed on Dupont's profile.

Dupont was elected to the Seventh Judicial Circuit bench in 2010 and re-elected in 2016, taking 62 percent of the vote over challenger Malcolm Anthony.

The Supreme Court removed Dupont from in June 2018 after finding that the Seventh Judicial Circuit court judge had violated the state's judicial conduct code, according to an opinion the high court issued the following September. The Supreme Court's action followed recommendation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission that Dupont be removed from office.

Dupont's misconduct warranted "the most severe sanction of removal from office," the Supreme Court's opinion said.

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