By Times Staff Writer A timeline of coverage by the Times following Charles Cope from his election to the Pinellas-Pasco circuit bench through his resignation yesterday.
Published January 28, 2004
Nov. 3, 1992: Charles W. Cope elected to the Pinellas-Pasco circuit bench in a run-off election.
June 24, 1996: Cope is arrested for DUI by a Naples police officer who said he saw Cope's Ford Bronco weaving. Cope, in Naples attending a judicial conference, refused a Breathalyzer test.
Feb. 6, 1997: A Collier County judge dismisses the misdemeanor charge Cope faces after quashing all evidence in the case because of doubts cast on the accuracy of the arresting officer's testimony.
April 5, 2001: Cope is arrested by Carmel, Calif., police after two women accuse him of trying to enter their locked hotel room. Cope, in town attending a judicial conference, denied doing so.
July 12, 2001: News of Cope's arrest breaks, stunning his peers. Cope reports the allegations to the Judicial Qualifications Commission for the first time.
Aug. 13, 2001: Cope begins a paid leave of absence.
Dec. 7, 2001: The JQC charges Cope with violating judicial canons.
June 26, 2002: After a trial, a JQC panel finds Cope is guilty of public intoxication and inappropriate conduct of an intimate nature. It rejects four more serious charges, including allegations he stole a room key and tried to enter the hotel room.
Aug. 5, 2002: A JQC panel recommends that the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimand Cope for violations of judicial canons.
Aug. 12, 2002 : Cope returns to the bench after a one-year paid leave of absence.
Aug. 29, 2002 : Cope pleaded no contest to misdemeanor public intoxication to resolve his California criminal case. In a plea deal, prosecutors dismiss other charges against him. Cope is fined $1,000 and donates $5,000 to a charity of the victim's selection.
May 29, 2003: The Florida Supreme Court accepts the recommendation of the JQC panel and says Cope will be publicly reprimanded.
Aug. 28, 2003: Cope is reprimanded by the Florida Supreme Court.
Jan. 26, 2004: Cope is unexpectedly summoned out of a trial and never returns.
Jan. 27, 2004: Cope resigns from the Pinellas-Pasco circuit bench. [Last modified January 28, 2004, 05:55:50]
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