The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is Florida Circuit Judge Aaron Bowden. He gets the award for the following.

Twelve days before Christmas, Circuit Judge Aaron Bowden fired his 17-year judicial assistant, who had been on leave since August with cancer.

lThe Jacksonville judge said he feared her prolonged illness would leave him without an assistant at a time when the state had implemented a hiring freeze.

But his decision left Christine Birch, 54, with no medical, life or disability insurance and has created a firestorm at the courthouse.

Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran responded by calling Bowden “a no-good son of a bitch,” prompting Bowden to respond with a blistering e-mail defending his decision and calling Moran’s criticism irresponsible, unprofessional and unseemly.

Other judges’ assistants were also appalled by Birch’s firing. They raised money to pay her rent this month.

*****

Birch declined comment Thursday. But she thanked Moran in a handwritten note last week for putting her back on the courthouse payroll in a rotating judicial assistant’s position. Birch was paid about $3,275 a month in her old job, and the state paid her health insurance premium. Her new rotating position pays $750 less a month and requires her to pay her own premiums.

Employees can be fired without cause in Florida. Florida Circuit Judge Aaron Bowden was within his legal right, but he’s still a no-good son of a bitch as the Chief Judge called him, or today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

Was the Judge really without a clerk? Read this-

Birch, who has battled cancer for five years, went on leave Aug. 20.

*****

But Moran’s judicial assistant, Mary Lou Martinson, said she had assigned one of the rotating assistants to Bowden full-time at his request.

Florida Circuit Judge Aaron Bowden is a Knucklehead in this cancer survivor’s opinion.

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