Lee County Judge Frank Mann Jr., son of Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann Sr., resigned from his post today. His last day of work was today, and nobody knows the reason for his resignation. Crimcourts will have our ear to the ground, but so far, nobody knows. It’s unusual for a judge to resign without notice, and as Judge Mann was relatively young, this certainly will be a shock to the local bar. Mann was well liked, and will be missed.
His replacement will be named by the governor after a standard application and review process. In the meantime, other judges will likely be called upon to cover his docket, possibly getting some assistance from Senior (retired) judges.
UPDATE: I heard from someone in court that he made a brief statement after docket sounding that he had enjoyed working there, but that it was time for him to move on to something else.
UPDATE 2: The News-Press has obtained Judge Mann’s resignation letter: apparently it was filed with the governor’s office on January 22. The decision was made at least a week ago, but it was not public knowledge around the courthouse. This will be the hot topic of discussion in the courthouse Wednesday. Mann cites a variety of personal reasons for his resignation, though he doesn’t specify any. He does say that he feels that 5 years was enough and he was ready for a change, which is similar to what he told the courtroom personnel yesterday.
UPDATE 3: the Naples News cites testimony from his pending divorce proceeding that indicates his estranged wife has accused him of financial improprieties and substance abuse issues, and says that she had filed a JQC complaint against him. Nothing can be confirmed about the complaint, but the judge on the divorce made a specific finding that there was not evidence to support