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GOVERNMENT / THE ELITE -
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Judge in 2000 election recount gets elevated to Circuit Court

Posted in the database on Thursday, October 13th, 2005 @ 14:22:00 MST (1258 views)
by John Cote    Sun-Sentinel  

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Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday appointed Palm Beach County Judge Charles Burton to the Circuit Court bench, elevating a magistrate whose face was beamed into millions of households when he oversaw the county's recount during the disputed 2000 presidential election.

Burton, 47, who lives west of Boca Raton, is most widely known for his role as chairman of the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board during the recount, but associates described him as a mild-mannered jurist with a sense of humor.

"He has good character to be able to handle that pressure [during the recount]," Palm Beach County Chief Judge Kathleen Kroll said. "I think he's that kind of guy. … We look forward to his good intellect and demeanor serving on the circuit bench."

Burton moves into a new spot on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, one of 55 judicial positions created statewide during the 2005 legislative session, Bush spokeswoman Deena Reppen said. Burton will assume his new position Nov. 1, Kroll said.

Burton spent 11 years as a prosecutor in State Attorney Barry Krischer's office, leaving for a five-year stint as a civil attorney before returning as a prosecutor and eventually heading up the Crimes Against Children unit. He has been a county judge since May 2000.

The new appointment means Burton will shift from handling misdemeanors or minor civil cases to handling felony criminal cases or larger lawsuits.

Burton, who could not be reached for comment by phone on Wednesday, has an undergraduate degree from Suffolk University and got his law degree from Nova Southeastern Law School in 1984.



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