The Broward County judge who sent ex-Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson to jail for 30 days after saying she saw him pat his lawyer on the butt this morning is nearly blind, Gossip Extra has learned exclusively.
And you thought Chad’s world couldn’t get any crazier!
Rookie judge Katie McHugh, who won her seat in November in an upset win over ethically-challenged former County Commish Ilene Lieberman, called herself “legally blind” during campaign appearances.
McHugh, 44, said she suffers from Stargardt’s Disease, a rare genetic condition.
And her handicap made it impossible for her to obtain a driver’s license!
Yet, on Monday morning, McHugh told Johnson: “I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside!” (Check out the video below)
When reached this afternoon, Johnson attorney Adam Swickle declined comment on whether he would use the judge’s handicap in his defense of Johnson.
“All I can say is that we’re going back before the judge soon to try to settle this,” Swickle said.
Johnson and Swickle were before McHugh so that she could sign off on a piece-of-cake plea bargain agreement that would have kept Johnson out of jail in his violation of probation case.
When she asked Johnson if he was satisfied with his attorney, the ball player said he was. For emphasis, he jokingly patted the shorter Swickle’s butt.
After the courtroom erupted in laughter, McHugh refused to sign off on the plea deal and ordered Johnson taken to jail for 30 days.
Gossip Extra asked McHugh how she could have seen Johnson if she is nearly blind, but she has yet to comment.
When McHugh was elected, the state’s Division for Blind Services (DBS) saluted her arrival to the bench and identified McHugh as one of the agency’s clients.
“DBS has provided (McHugh) with adaptive equipment and accommodations for her visual impairment that resulted from a genetic condition,” read DBS’ April newsletter, titled Visionary. “When conducting court, she uses a CCTV on the bench to read legal documents.”