HANG ON, SLOOPY 


;Victims of Seminole County Judge John Sloop scored only a limited victory last week, when a six-member panel of the Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended he be suspended for 90 days for ordering the arrest of 11 people who had failed to show up on time in his courtroom. (They had been directed to a different courtroom, which Sloop apparently considered a poor excuse.) The injured parties, whom Sloop had ordered handcuffed, strip-searched and put in chains, were hoping that he would be removed from the bench outright. As the Sentinel pointed out in its coverage, the judge — a self-admitted sufferer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — has a history of questionable behavior, including brandishing a handgun in court to detain a suspect and ordering the electronic surveillance of someone who had not been charged with a crime.

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; The panel recommended that Sloop continue his treatment for ADHD, and that he apologize to the 11 people in a variety of ways, including taking out a high-profile newspaper ad. Luckily for us, the panel didn't specify which newspaper —and, since Orlando Weekly has the best ad rates around for disgraced officials, we get the honor of printing his words of reconciliation and regret, rendered for you here in handy clip-'n-save format.

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Letter from Seminole County Judge John Sloop:

;Well, I'm sorry. I guess we should get that out of the way right up front. There's no excuse for what I did to you people, not even ADHD. It was all one big, unholy lapse in judgment, and I've got no one to blame but myself. Please forgive me. I won't add insult to injury by telling you how terrible the symptoms of my disease are — inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness. You shouldn't know from it. But that's not your problem. What you want to know is that I'm sorry. And I most sincerely am. I'd do anything to take it all back. Really I would.;

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;;Speaking of which, isn't it scandalous that Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson are getting married? I mean, in my day, if you even admitted you had hepatitis C, you were off the market as far as any halfway-respectable fella was concerned. But this siliconed skeeze just moves on to Trailer Trash Beau ;No. 16, while that Tommy Lee sits his smug, bony heinie on Rock Star: Supernova and dreams of where he's going to plant his rancid seed next. Why, somebody ought to teach them all a lesson. And I've got half a mind to, as soon as I can remember what was I doing with this three-hole punch. And why the wife won't stop whimpering.

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;Boy, am I sorry. Have I mentioned that? If not, I sure am. I just about well up when I think about you poor folks, slapped in those rusty old handcuffs while a representative of the court searches up your alimentary canal for contraband. I don't know what came over me. I just get carried away sometimes. It's like when I was back in law school, and in the middle of an all-night cramming session, I'd suddenly find myself in some downtown alley, correcting a drunk's grammar at crossbow-point. And every time, I'd ask myself two things: "Sweet God in heaven, what's becoming of me? And is Certs a breath mint or a candy mint?"

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;Good morning, please hold for Judge Sloop. Oh, there you are. I bet you ;didn't know I'm really, really sorry. Well, I am. I don't know what makes me sadder: the mental image of 11 confused, frightened Seminole County citizens forced to impersonate the cast of Amistad, or the shame their relatives must have felt when they heard that … BLAM BLAM BLAM!

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;;Goddamn rats, always scurrying around when I'm trying to work. Bailiff, let's get an ankle bracelet on that sumbitch before he high-tails it to Mexico!

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;Anyway, guess what I am right now? Sorry! Big-time sorry. So sorry I can barely think about using a genuine medical malady as a smokescreen for my obvious maladjustment. Hoo boy, am I going to spend some serious genuflecting time in front of you all tonight. True dat.

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;Oh, excuse me, it's those kids again. Hey, you two, I don't care if you did grow up and leave the nest in '87 … pipe down! Daddy's got to snarf another bag of Grade-A sugar if he wants to barrel through this thing. Like they say on the late-late movie, there's repentin' to do in these here parts, and I'm the guy to do it! And then I'm going to fix the mower, probably by threatening it with hard time. And then I'll force the cat to memorize all the state capitals. And make the neighbors conjugate a few pages of Latin verbs. And I'll have a small Caesar salad, too, waitress, if I can get it instead of the fries without paying extra. Now be quick about it, before I can take off my belt!

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;Did I mention that I'm sorry?;;

 

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; sschneider@orlandoweekly.com

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