Judge John Kastrenakes

Judge In Mask Case Won’t Recuse After Being Seen Without Mask At Party

Boca Raton Coronavirus COVID-19 Facial Coverings Florida LAWSUITS News Palm Beach County
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BocaNewsNow.com Broke Story, Cited In Motion For Judge Kastrenakes. Sun Sentinel Uses Our Work Without Attribution.

Judge John Kastrenakes
Palm Beach County Judge John Kastrenakes, unmasked, at a buffet during the Palm Beach County Bar Association Holiday Party. He is presiding over Palm Beach County’s mask mandate case. (Source:BocaNewsNow.com exclusive).

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Judge John Kastrenakes, photographed without a mask while attending an in-person Palm Beach County Bar Association holiday party in December, will not recuse himself from the ongoing mask lawsuit that he is overseeing.

Kastrenakes ruled that his attending a party — in violation of CDC guidelines — as well as not wearing a mask will have no impact on his ability to fairly rule in the constitutional challenge to Palm Beach County’s mask mandate.

BocaNewsNow.com broke the story on December 12th which later gained national attention. While the Palm Beach Post credited BocaNewsNow.com for our coverage, the Sun Sentinel continues to use BocaNewsNow.com reporting without attribution. Today, reporter Marc Freeman reported on the Kastrenakes situation without crediting the original source. BocaNewsNow.com was also first report on the motion to have Kastrenakes removed on December 18th.

In his ruling, Kastrenakes wrote that “the Plaintiffs’ motion is DENIED as legally insufficient,” as a “motion to disqualify must contain facts that would create in a reasonably prudent person a well-founded fear of of not receiving a fair and impartial trial.”

It remains unclear why the Palm Beach County Bar Association — a professional organization of judges and lawyers — would hold an in-person party the PGA Country Club in the midst of the pandemic as the general public is being told to not attend parties or take part in group gatherings. Several lawyers contacting BocaNewsNow.com say they are embarrassed by the actions of the Palm Beach County Bar Association which, several say, should have donated funds use for the party to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Read the complete ruling, below. If you are reading in a news app, click here.

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