This afternoon, the 18th Judicial District in Florida released the following media advisory to all outlets covering the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman:
Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler has executed an order disqualifying herself from further proceedings in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. In the three-page Order dated April 18, 2012, Judge Recksiedler made findings that each basis, in and of itself, were “legally insufficient” for disqualification. In addition, the Order further states “[e]ven though this Court finds that neither of these, standing alone, is legally sufficient for disqualification, the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this Court to grant the Motion to Disqualify.”
The Order directs the case to be returned to Chief Judge Alan Dickey for reassignment. Per the current court order, a copy of this document is not available at this time.
Chief Judge Dickey is in receipt of a Notice of Judicial Conflict from Judge John D. Galluzzo, certifying to Chief Judge Dickey that Judge Galluzzo has a conflict in performing his duties as a circuit judge in any matter in controversy where Mark M. O’Mara is the attorney of record because of their prior business and personal relationship and the requirements of Cannon 3E of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. Because Judge Galluzzo is the next judge in the normal rotation of the criminal division, the Chief Judge has directed Criminal Administrative Judge Debra Nelson to appoint the next judge in the criminal division rotation, Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr., to preside over the George Zimmerman case.
Chief Judge Dickey issued the following statement regarding the reassignment of this case, “Even though Judge Recksiedler had to grant the motion for disqualification in this case, she is very capable of presiding over this or any other criminal case and I have complete confidence in Judge Lester as well.”