Judge Dick C. P. Lantz resigned as president-elect of the American Judges Association yesterday, saying "press reports" of his admitted judicial misconduct forced him out.
Lantz, of Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit, was charged last year with 13 counts of misconduct, according to records of the Florida Judicial Qualification Commission.
Current AJA president Patrick McCauley said Lantz's decision was "for the good of the organization and probably the proper thing." AJA represents 1,600 judges of various courts throughout the country.
Last weekend, the AJA board of governors decided not to eject Lantz from the organization, and he was to have taken office today.
Lantz said in his letter of resignation: "I am afraid press reports in the past few days have made it difficult for me to serve . . . . "
Lantz had admitted several of the charges of misconduct and pleaded no contest to the rest.
Among charges against him were treating witnesses and lawyers rudely in court, ordering a lawyer to attend a fictitious hearing, finding a lawyer in contempt for speaking Spanish to his client, confiscating a court record and declaring he was going to destroy it and ordering a $10,700 attorney's fee paid to his friend and campaign manager, although the friend had withdrawn as an attorney from the case.
Next in line of succession is Charles V. Johnson of Seattle.