Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato Takes Stand, Fights to Keep Job After DUI Conviction

A Broward judge convicted of DUI took the stand Thursday to appear before a panel that may help decide whether she'll get to keep her job.

Judge Cynthia Imperato is on probation now and has served 20 days of house arrest as part of her criminal penalty.

Now she's being judged by her peers, and the state Supreme Court will decide if she gets to keep her job.

At a previous hearing she testified she only had two glasses of wine the night she was arrested in November 2013 in Palm Beach County.

"I thought I had a couple of glasses of wine obviously from everything that I have heard and seen it was definitely more than that," Imperato said Thursday, as she appeared before the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission, a panel that recommends sanctions against judges who misbehave.

"The confidence of the public and the judiciary is fundamental to the way our country runs, if you don't believe that the judiciary is honest and fair and impartial we've got a real problem," special prosecutor David McGee said.

During her DUI trial, Imperato's lawyers were hard on the two officers involved in her arrest. On Thursday, she addressed them directly.

"I apologize for putting you guys through everything you have been through, I know it has been two sets of depositions, numerous phone calls, this is your second trial and they were just doing their job," she said.

While on the stand Imperato answered questions candidly, she expressed humility and apologized for her actions and made a point to shake the hands of those two officers.

Broward's Chief Judge Peter Weinstein testified on her behalf as a character witness.

"I would look forward to her remaining on the bench and doing the job she has always done which is with honesty, integrity, humility," Weinstein said.

Two judges, two lawyers and two laypeople heard Thursday's arguments and they will make a recommendation on sanctions against the judge, if there are any. The Florida Supreme Court though will make the final decision several months down the road.

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