Suwannee Democrat


February 26, 2014

Formal charges filed against Judge Decker

Panel will determine if charges warrant Florida Supreme Court review

Live Oak —

The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) filed a notice of formal charges Tuesday against Third Judicial Circuit Judge Andrew J. Decker III for several violations of judicial canon and misconduct prior to being elected judge in November 2012. The charges will later be brought before a six member panel to determine if Decker did indeed violate 27 provisions including judicial canons, Florida Rules of Professional Conduct and Florida Statutes. 

The bulk of the charges followed after the Florida Bar’s Third Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee found probable cause in early 2013 to support a landowner’s accusations of misconduct and conflict of interest against Decker.

The finding resulted from an eight-month investigation by the committee into Decker’s handling of a real estate foreclosure case as a private attorney before he was elected judge.

The misconduct and conflict accusations were made in spring 2012 by Daniel A. Dukes of Union County, a partner in the B.W.D. Land Trust represented by Decker in foreclosure negotiations with TD Bank. Other trust partners were Circuit Judge Paul S. Bryan of Lake City, and William E. Woodington of Union County.

Among other things, Dukes accused Decker of conspiring with Judge Bryan to transfer Duke’s one-third ownership of the foreclosed property to Judge Bryan, then withdrew as Duke’s attorney and later represented Judge Bryan in a bankruptcy filing.

He also accused Decker of representing clients before Judge Bryan without disclosing to the opposing side that Decker had served as Judge Bryan’s lawyer in other legal proceedings.

The Grievance Committee, which serves as a grand jury for complaints against Florida lawyers, found there was probable cause that Decker violated four of the Florida Bar’s rules on misconduct and conflict of interest.

The matter then went before the JQC which released its notice of formal charges Tuesday. 

Text Only
Local News

Suwannee Democrat

Jasper News

Mayo Free Press

Arrest Record

AP Video
Must Read
Business Marquee
Election 2014
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
House Ads
Twitter Updates

Did your student take advantage of local summer activities?

Yes, through 4-H or another club.
Yes, through Parks & Recreation.
Yes, summer food service program.
No, they didn’t.
No, we didn’t know there were any.
     View Results