The judge who sentenced former NFL player Chad Johnson to 30 days in jail because she thought he wasn’t taking court proceedings seriously is the person who ended the political career of one of Broward’s top politicians.
Judge Kathleen McHugh defeated Ilene Lieberman in the August 2012 election for a county judgeship.
Lieberman was a 16-year county commissioner who was forced from office because of term limits. Previously she’d been mayor and a city commissioner in Lauderhill.
McHugh received 55.7 percent of the vote, something she attributed her win to her greater court experience, as well as anti-Lieberman sentiments among voters.
She’s suddenly known by many more people. My colleague Rafael Olmeda reported that Johnson, 35, who formerly used the name Chad Ochocinco was seconds away from walking out of the Broward County courthouse Monday after working out a plea deal for probation violation in a 2012 domestic violence case.
But when he complimented his lawyer, Johnson saluted the attorney as though he were a teammate after a good play — with a pat on the behind.
People in the courtroom laughed, but McHugh wasn’t smiling. "Mr. Johnson, I don't know that you're taking this whole thing seriously," she said. "I'm not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn't a joke."