Judge Virginia M. Covington
Judge Covington graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tampa in 1976, where she received the Outstanding Female Graduate Award, Class of 1976-77. In 1977 Judge Covington received the degree of Master of Business Administration, also from the University of Tampa. Judge Covington then attended Georgetown University Law Center, where she was elected to The Tax Lawyer law review and received her Juris Doctor degree in 1980. After graduation, Judge Covington was a trial attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and thereafter became and Assistant State Attorney for Hillsborough County, Florida. Judge Covington joined the United State Attorney's office in 1983.
From January 1989 until September 24, 2001, she was Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida. Judge Covington received an award for outstanding contribution to the asset forfeiture program by the Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture in 1993. She also received Director's Awards in 1990 and 1996, as well as numerous commendations from law enforcement personnel, and judges in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Honduras on trial advocacy practices and procedures. In addition, she served as a liaison between the Department of Justice and the Bolivian Government, assisting the Bolivians with their asset forfeiture program.
She is the 1999 winner of the Raymond E. Fernandez Award given by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Hispanic Advisory Council to the individual who has made outstanding contributions to the criminal justice system. In October 2001, Judge Covington was honored to serve as the keynote speaker at the Orange County Bar Association's Hispanic Heritage Celebration Luncheon. Judge Covington has long been active in community affairs. She served as Chair of the Board of Counselors of the University of Tampa; President of the Tampa Hispanic Heritage; Regional President of the National Hispanic Prosecutors Association; and Chair of the Government Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She also has been a member of the Hispanic Needs and Services Council; the Hispanic Professional Women's Association; and the Hispanic National Bar Association as well as numerous other community and professional organizations. Additionally, Judge Covington is a founding member and has been elected tot he Executive Board of the Herbert G. Goldburg Criminal Law American Inn of court.
Judge Jeb Bush appointed Judge Covington to the Second District Court of Appeal, and she began her service on September 25, 2001.