Hillsborough judge agrees to reprimand for going 'too far' on defendant's behalf
Tampa Bay Times
Anna M. Phillips
Times Staff Writer
Friday, June 3, 2016
TAMPA — Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory P. Holder, who intervened in the case of a former U.S. Army Green Beret charged with multiple felonies, has agreed to be publicly reprimanded for trying to persuade prosecutors to change the man's sentence.
In a deal reached with the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, which oversees judges across the state, Holder acknowledged that he "went too far" in his attempts to lighten the man's punishment, creating "the appearance of impropriety and partiality."
In addition to being publicly reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court, he will have to complete six hours of training "on topics related to ethics," if the Florida Supreme Court accepts the commission's recommendation of discipline.
Holder did not respond to requests for comment, but his attorney, David Weinstein, said he was disappointed the commission had filed the charges against the judge in the first place.
"From my perspective, the JQC's action was not based on what Judge Holder was trying to accomplish or why but, instead, how he went about it," Weinstein said.
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