10 years ago this month
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for, in one criminal case, denying a defendant full opportunity to be heard through counsel regarding sentencing, treating defense counsel rudely and impatiently, and holding the attorney in contempt and immediately incarcerating him. In the Matter Concerning Espinosa, Decision and Order Imposing Public Admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 9, 2006).
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for using court staff, resources, and facilities for his personal real estate business. Public Admonishment of Watson (California Commission on Judicial Performance February 21, 2006).
- Based on a stipulation, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline censured a judge and suspended him from office for 30 working days without pay for (1) failing to disqualify himself from a criminal case in which his son’s girlfriend was charged with abuse/endangerment of a child; (2) having conversations with his son and his son’s girlfriend about their use of illegal drugs without telling the district attorney’s office; (3) telling an investigator for the state division of investigations that his son and his son’s girlfriend had argued and that one or both were using drugs; (4) failing to timely recuse himself in a case involving a defendant who had been taken into custody for a DUI offense while driving a car registered to the judge and his son; (5) purchasing from a bail bondsman a car the judge knew was collateral on a bond in a case pending before him; (6) directing a highway patrol trooper ex parte to perform additional investigation in a traffic case; (7) rescheduling a preliminary hearing in a child sexual assault case to try to prevent a reporter from attending; (8) acting disrespectfully toward an attorney representing a female applicant seeking a protective order, issuing a protective order against the applicant even though the adverse party had not requested such an order, and making comments to the attorney to the effect he did not hear domestic violence cases and that he would refuse to hear them; (9) fixing a ticket for the wife of a deputy sheriff; (10) having a deputy district attorney fix a ticket for a court employee; (11) soliciting additional information from a witnesses in the presence of the deputy district attorney when neither the defendant nor his lawyer were present; and (12) arranging for his son to obtain own recognizance release from custody on a felony charge without notifying the prosecutor or defense counsel. In the Matter of Ward, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Imposition of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline February 3, 2006).
- Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended a judge for 1 year without pay for claiming on a notarized CLE compliance report that he had attended all 3 days of a seminar when he had only attended 1 day and repeating the misrepresentation to Disciplinary Counsel during its investigation. In the Matter of Augustus, 626 S.E.2d 346 (South Carolina 2006).
- Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court reprimanded a judge for failing to supervise an employee who had embezzled money from the court. In the Matter of Hensley, 627 S.E.2d 716 (South Carolina 2006).
- Adopting the recommendation of the Judicial Conduct Commission, the Utah Supreme Court removed a justice court judge who had a plural marriage relationship with 3 women. In re Inquiry of Steed, 131 P.3d 231 (Utah 2006).