Judge recuses self in Halls River suit

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 24, 2006

Hernando County Circuit Judge Richard Tombrink Jr. has recused himself from the latest lawsuit involving the Halls River Retreat condominium project.

Halls River Development Inc. filed a lawsuit in October alleging that the county's elimination of the mixed-use zoning category caused its property to decline in value by $3.5-million. Tombrink said he meets regularly with Assistant County Attorney Michele Lieberman as part of the Citrus-Hernando Inns of Court, an organization for attorneys and judges. Since Lieberman represents the county, the judge said he would step off the case to avoid "any possible suggestion or appearance of impropriety." Victor J. Musleh, the region's top judge, will assign a new jurist. Judge Jack Springstead in Hernando County and Judge Patricia Thomas in Citrus previously recused themselves.