US

Four-month suspension, $50,000 fine recommended for judge accused of punching attorney

A judicial review panel is recommending a four-month suspension for a Florida judge who was captured on video berating and threatening to assault a public defender.

In findings released Wednesday, the six-member Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission found Brevard County Judge John C .Murphy guilty of violating various judicial canons, including being "dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others."

The panel also recommended a fine of up to $50,000, a public reprimand and Murphy's continued participation in a mental health therapy program.

Murphy is accused of hitting former assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock outside a courtroom last June after they exchanged words over whether Weinstock's client could have a speedy trial.

The Florida Supreme Court will decide on the final punishment. It often adopts the panel's recommendations.