Three removals

Thursday October 30 was a busy day in judicial discipline as, coincidentally, three decisions were handed down that either removed a judge from office, suspended a judge without pay until the end of her term, or affirmed a removal.

The Florida Supreme Court removed a judge for operating a for-profit business from her judicial chambers using official time and judicial resources plus related misconduct that included a lack of candor during the investigation, for example, deleting in the early morning hours before her deposition financial data had been subpoenaed and she had agreed to produce.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals suspended a judge without pay until the end of her term (the Court does not have the authority to remove judges) for having an affair with the director of the community corrections program while he and his subordinates routinely appeared in her courtroom without disclosing the relationship to any defendant plus related misconduct.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed without opinion the decision of the Court of Judicial Discipline removing a judge for lying repeatedly about his qualifications and other facts on the questionnaires he submitted to the Philadelphia Bar Association Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention while running for judicial office and twice being held in contempt in a court case arising from a Philadelphia Board of Ethics complaint against a PAC he represented and, to avoid paying a court-ordered fine, dissipating the PAC’s funds and engaging in delay, obfuscation, and deceit.

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