Florida Judge Drops Out of Rehab, Resigns Post
One Florida drug court judge’s life took an ironic and tragic turn on January 6th when she was forced to resign her post following a series of alcohol-related incidents. Judge Giselle Pollack tendered her resignation when a judiciary panel ruled that Pollack shouldn’t be reinstated as judge.
Judge Pollack had been instrumental in forming a misdemeanor drug court that helped people enter addiction treatment instead of serving jail time after certain drug offenses. Pollack’s work has often dealt with substance abuse, having herself battled alcoholism for more than two decades.
After 20 years of sobriety, Judge Pollack relapsed in 2013. When she arrived at work drunk in December of that year, she promised to get sober and never let an incident like it happen again. However, only a few months later, Pollack again showed up at work intoxicated. She was given a final chance to get sober by the court system before her seat would be revoked.
Given this opportunity, Judge Pollack checked herself into an intensive outpatient alcohol rehab program. Unfortunately, her problems continued there, and she checked out of the program early.
Drunk Driving Crash Provides Wake-Up Call
After leaving the rehab facility, Judge Pollack proceeded to get drunk. She then crashed into another vehicle, injuring the car’s driver. After pleading guilty to drunk driving, the courts had to decide whether Pollack was capable of carrying out her judicial responsibilities.
The courts determined that Pollack was no longer fit to serve as a judge. In a 28-page ruling on the case, they made a point of praising Pollack for her courage in fighting her addiction and expressed hope that she would once again become sober.
High Functioning Alcoholism Wrecks Careers
Judge Pollack is just one of millions of Americans who struggle with high-functioning alcoholism. Some experts estimate that as many as half of all alcoholics are the high-functioning variety, meaning they can hold down jobs, have social lives, have families, and appear mostly normal. While many of the high-functioning alcoholics can be successful for a while, legal troubles, financial problems and relationship issues often come to the surface.
But in the case of Judge Pollack and anyone else willing to seek treatment, there’s hope. After turning over this chapter of her life, she has promised to once again get sober and hopes to return to practicing law soon.