The Judge in Kodak Black’s case has been dismissed from all criminal court matters following inappropriate comments.
While his lawyer has already openly questioned the case against Kodak Black, there’s a bit of news today that could further propel things in their favour. Judge Joel Lazarus, who was presiding in Kodak’s case, has been banned from “all matters involving criminal court,” according to Local10 news.
Broward County senior Judge Joel Lazarus was apparently recorded, unbeknownst to him at the time, making some inappropriate comments as to his “policy” when it comes to handling bond cases in his neighborhood– this just a day after Kodak’s arrest too. The Judge had a hot mic on when he made comments in preparation for first appearance court, telling the prosecutor, “I’ll double the bond to those that take place in my neighborhood.” This was in response to a burglary defendant, who evidently committed the crime near to where Lazarus resides.
The hot mic captured more audio of the conversation, “Closer to my house, the higher the bond. That was always Lazarus’ rule.” The prosecutor replied: “I have no problem with that.”
The statement were broadcast live to the internet, and did indeed cause a problem. In response to the comments, Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein wrote a letter to Chief Judge Jack Tuter asking that Lazarus be banned from all criminal court matters– Tuter acted on it, saying that the comments were “clearly inappropriate.” Thus Judge Lazarus, who typically resides on civil foreclosure cases it’s worth noting, has since been banned on all first appearance courts as well as criminal court matters.
Lazarus has since responded to the controversy as well, regretting his remarks, and alleging he did not actually raise the bond in that particular case. “People say things in jest all the time,” Lazarus said. “It was unfortunate. I shouldn’t have said it…There was no action taken on it.”