- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court is removing a Leon County judge who sold religious books from her office as part of her for-profit ministry.

The high court issued its ruling Thursday to remove Judge Judith Hawkins from the bench.

The decision goes beyond the recommended punishment from the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, which said Hawkins should be suspended without pay for three months, fined $17,000 and reprimanded.

But the Supreme Court said Hawkins also was deceitful and dishonest during her disciplinary hearing and that can’t be tolerated of a judge.

Hawkins sold religious books, study guides and other publications to lawyers and staffers at the county courthouse as part of her business, Gaza Road Ministries.

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