Recent cases

  • The Illinois Courts Commission sanctioned 2 judges for conduct related to their extramarital affair. In re Drazewski, Foley, Order (Illinois Courts Commission March 11, 2016).
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court removed a justice of the peace for numerous legal errors in peace bond proceedings; being rude, discourteous, and undignified; and allowing his staff to be rude, discourteous, and undignified. In re Laiche, Opinion (Louisiana Supreme Court March 15, 2016).
  • With the judge’s consent, the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities released its private reprimand of a judge for appearing in a court where he was assigned as a recall judge for a trial on a ticket he had received. In the Matter of Plitt, Private reprimand (Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities March 15, 2016).
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline permanently barred a former judge from judicial office in the state based on his federal plea agreement to charges related to a conspiracy to defraud. In the Matter of Jones, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposition of discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline March 1, 2016).
  • Based on the judge’s consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline reprimanded a judge for independently investigating the father in a paternity case and then holding him in contempt without following due process requirements and failing to enter a visitation order in the case for over a year. In the Matter of Wanker, Stipulation and order of consent (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline March 3, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation, a judge agreed to resign and the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline agreed to accept his resignation; the judge stipulated that, for health reasons, he is not currently taking the bench or hearing cases. In the Matter of Kent, Stipulation and consent order for resignation (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline March 16, 2016).
  • Based on joint stipulations of fact, violations, and aggravating and mitigating factors, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a former judge for 2 years, with 18 months stayed with conditions, for his sexual relationship with a party in an eviction action over which he presided as a magistrate, his falsification of a loan application for the purchase of a motor vehicle for her, and his misappropriation of wrongful-death proceeds that were intended to finance an annuity for the benefit of the decedent’s minor children. Disciplinary Counsel v. Williams (Ohio Supreme Court March 8, 2016).
  • Based on stipulations of fact in lieu of trial, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline fined a former supreme court justice $50,000 for exchanging insensitive and inappropriate e-mails with friends and professional acquaintances using his Commonwealth-issued computer equipment and a personal, web-based e-mail address. In Eakin, Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline March 24, 2016).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a justice of the peace for attempting to pull over a driver for reckless driving, having a police officer pull the driver over, and threatening to have the driver incarcerated without legal justification. Public Warning of Brady and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 3, 2016).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to take immediate steps to disqualify himself and/or transfer his own divorce case out of his court, filing motions in his own court in connection with the divorce action, failing to timely rule on or refer the recusal motions filed by the attorney representing his wife, attempting to intervene in proceedings relating to his own recusal, and displaying a personal animus against the attorney representing his wife. Public Reprimand of Herrera and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 24, 2016)).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for entering judgments finding defendants guilty of illegal parking violations that were not supported by a proper complaint or probable cause and imposing fines for those offenses in excess of amounts allowed by law. Public Warning of Jones and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 29, 2016).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former justice of the peace for dismissing criminal cases without a motion from the prosecutor, frequent and extended absences from the court, delays and confusion caused by his handling a case, and using court funds for his personal financial benefit. Public Reprimand of Stringer (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 29, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded a court commissioner for failing to treat all individuals appearing before her in court with patience, courtesy, and respect.  In re Canada-Thurston, Stipulation, agreement, order of reprimand (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 4, 2016).

 

Antithetical to the privilege of holding public office

Based on stipulations of fact in lieu of trial, the Court of Judicial Discipline has fined former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin $50,000 for exchanging “sordid and offensive” e-mails with friends and professional acquaintances.  In re Eakin, Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline March 24, 2016).  The justice had resigned on March 15.

The justice had a personal yahoo e-mail address that did not identify him by name or judicial title but as “John Smith.”  The justice used his personal e-mail address, while on his Commonwealth-issued computer, to communicate with a group of men who went on golfing vacations, played fantasy football, and engaged in other social activities together.

The justice sent 1 e-mail to the golfing group that included a photograph of a semi-nude woman and sent the group approximately 17 other e-mails with gender and ethnic stereotypes or inappropriate and chauvinistic statements.  In particular, the Court noted 3 e-mail exchanges between the justice and a deputy attorney general that were “strikingly egregious in light of the fact that the justice was talking about his judicial employees.”

The justice also received e-mails from the golfing group and “blast e-mails” from a friend who was a criminal defense attorney.  Approximately 130 of the e-mails contained photographs of nude or semi-nude women, video clips of comedy skits with sexually-suggestive themes, photographic slide shows of faux “motivational posters,” homophobic content, jokes about violence against women, and jokes based on negative gender, racial, ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic stereotypes.

Addenda to the Court’s opinion describe the e-mails, which are dated from 2008 to 2014.

The Court found that the justice failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.  The Court concluded that the justice’s actions, “although they occurred outside of deciding cases or holding sessions of court, still can be fairly considered to be ‘on-bench’ conduct,” noting the justice conversed “in a sexually suggestive manner about employees in his judicial office” and used Commonwealth-issued computer equipment and that some of the individuals with whom he exchanged e-mails were also using government-supplied computers and e-mail servers.  Further, the Court stated, his “position as a justice of the Supreme Court conferred upon him not only the duty to decide cases, but also significant administrative responsibilities for our justice system.”

Finding that the justice’s conduct “drastically damaged the reputation of the state judiciary” and “dramatically lessened public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the entire Judiciary,” the Court noted the “harsh criticism” of his conduct from private citizens, community leaders, and legal and governmental officials and the news reports about his conduct both state-wide and nationally.  The Court explained:

Whether labelled misogynistic, racially-biased, biased against national origin, or biased toward sexual orientation, [the e-mails] represent a list of topics which should give any jurist pause.  The list also corresponds, in a number of instances, with categories protected by the laws of the United States and of our Commonwealth.  Significantly, they could cause citizens to wonder whether their cases received unbiased consideration by Respondent, something that we find abhorrent to the principles to which Respondent has ostensibly dedicated his entire professional career.  A reasonable inference that Respondent lacked the impartiality required of judges also fundamentally lessens public confidence in the judiciary.

The Court acknowledged that the justice had expected the e-mails would remain private and that humor is often “in poor taste and rooted in the extreme.”  However, the Court noted the probability that the e-mails would become public given that government equipment and judicial and government internet servers were being used.  Moreover, it concluded, “the emails demonstrated a misjudgment by Respondent, both in his understanding of how electronic communications work, as well as the substantive content of those communications.”

Noting its “disgust with, and disapproval of, the sordid and offensive communications giving rise to this case,” the Court stated that “the common thread of the emails, with their imagery of sexism, racism, and bigotry, is arrogance and the belief that an individual is better than his or her peers.  Such beliefs are antithetical to the privilege of holding public office, where the charge is to serve, not demean, our citizens.”

Wedding fees

Some states have provisions governing whether a judge may accept an honorarium for performing a wedding ceremony in the code of judicial conduct, a court rule or directive, a statute, or a judicial ethics advisory opinion.

In some states, a judge cannot personally accept a fee for solemnizing a marriage regardless when or where the marriage is performed.

For example, the Illinois judicial ethics committee has advised that a judge may not accept a fee, gift, gratuity, or compensation of any kind for solemnizing a marriage even if the ceremony will be held outside normal working hours and at a location other than the courthouse.  Illinois Advisory Opinion 1995-14.  The committee reasoned that, by accepting such a gift, a judge would be improperly receiving compensation for services in addition to the judge’s salary, which is prohibited by court rule.  Further, the committee concluded, the fee would constitute a “gift” given in return for an act performed in an official capacity, which is prohibited by the code of judicial conduct.

The states that prohibit judges from accepting fees for performing marriages are:  Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Other states, however, distinguish between marriages that take place during regular court hours and those that take place outside of court hours, prohibiting a judge from retaining honorariums for the former but allowing them for the latter.  Rule 3.16 of the Arizona code of judicial conduct, for example, allows a judge to “charge a reasonable fee or honorarium to perform a wedding ceremony during noncourt hours, whether the ceremony is performed in the court or away from the court,” while prohibiting a judge from charging or accepting “a fee, honorarium, gratuity or contribution for performing a wedding ceremony during court hours.”  The states with this type of rule are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

In Wisconsin, the distinction turns on where the marriage is performed; a judge may not accept a fee for marriages performed in the courthouse, regardless what day or time of day.

In Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, a judge is allowed to receive a fee for performing a marriage regardless when or where the ceremony takes place.

Even in circumstances in which a judge may accept fees, there are restrictions on promoting a judicial wedding “business.”  For example, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards privately admonished a judge for promoting his wedding business by maintaining a web-site that identified and pictured him as a judge and by appearing as an exhibitor at a wedding trade show where he personally solicited attendees to hire him.  Minnesota Private Discipline Summaries 2009-113.  See also Rule 3.16(C), Arizona code of judicial conduct (“A judge shall not advertise his or her availability for performing wedding ceremonies”) ; California Judges Association Judicial Ethics Up-date, at 15 (2001) (“A judge may not advertise via a web site or print media to solicit business to perform weddings for a fee”); Colorado Advisory Opinion 2007-5 (a judge may not advertise her availability to perform wedding ceremonies by sending fliers to wedding planners and may not otherwise solicit business as a wedding officiant); Minnesota Summary of Advisory Opinions MN-2004 (it is inappropriate for judges to advertise in newspapers to perform weddings); New York Advisory Opinion 2008-74 (a judge may not engage in the “business” of performing marriages, solicit requests for such services as a for-profit business, or otherwise actively seek to be engaged in such activity); Texas Advisory Opinion 193 (1996) (a justice of the peace may not advertise “justice of the peace weddings” in the telephone book); Texas Advisory Opinion 292 (2006) (a judge may not directly solicit couples as they leave a county clerk’s office with their marriage licenses to perform their ceremony for pay); Washington Advisory Opinion 1991-14 (a court may put wedding information in the white pages of the telephone directory, but the judges should avoid any appearance that they are using the listing to solicit weddings or otherwise personally benefit).

A longer version of this post will appear as an article in the spring issue of the Judicial Conduct Reporter, to be published in May.  You can sign up to receive notice when a new issue of the Reporter is available.

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded a judge for berating defendants, attorneys, and individuals in the courtroom gallery. Johnson, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct March 18, 2011).
  • Based on the judge’s agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission admonished a judge for making 2 phone calls to the police and helping return stolen goods that were taken by an employee of his family’s business. Letter of Admonishment (Boeckmann) (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission March 18, 2011).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for an insensitive comment about the Ku Klux Klan. Public Admonishment of Giss (California Commission on Judicial Performance March 16, 2011).
  • The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 30 days, publicly reprimanded him, and fined him $1,000 for engaging in ex parte communications, misusing his contempt power, failing to properly notice hearings, granting relief not requested, issuing a search warrant without legal authority, making comments to the local newspaper to explain his actions and justify a defendant’s incarceration, and ex parte contact with a litigant. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Patton, 57 So. 3d 626 (Mississippi 2011).
  • Based on a stipulation and the judge’s consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline censured a former judge for committing domestic battery against his now ex-wife; the Commission also prohibited him from seeking and accepting judicial office in Nevada for 4 years. In the Matter of Abbatangelo, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Consent Order of Discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline March 30, 2011).
  • Granting a petition for discipline upon stipulation, the New Mexico Supreme Court reprimanded a former judge for failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous in a criminal case and in a related contempt hearing. In the Matter of Walker (New Mexico Supreme Court March 24, 2011).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who personally delivered his co-worker’s traffic ticket to another court. In the Matter of Daniels, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 25, 2011).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who took a treatment court participant for a ride in his personal car over a lunch recess and spoke to him privately about personal issues, including the defendant’s drug use and his mother’s death. In the Matter of Tarantino, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 28, 2011).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a part-time judge who (1) represented clients before the village building and zoning department over which his court has jurisdiction; (2) allowed his name to appear on papers filed by his law firm in lawsuits against the village; and (3) permitted his law firm to make political contributions. In the Matter of Kelly, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 31, 2011).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded a judge for writing a letter on judicial stationery in support of a defendant in a criminal case pending in federal court. Public Reprimand of Ochoa (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 31, 2011).
  • The Judicial Council of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reprimanded a judge for (1) appointing friends to serve as adjunct settlement judges, even though they were not qualified, and ordering certain counsel and parties to pay them fees for their services, in contravention of a local court rule; and (2) making inappropriate oral, written, and non-verbal comments in orders and during court proceedings. In re Complaint under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Action (White) (10th Circuit Judicial Council March 22, 2011).

Exceptions to the rule

Although allegations of legal error or an abuse of discretion generally do not constitute judicial misconduct (which explains the high dismissal rate for complaints about judges), there are exceptions to that rule.  Three exceptions –an egregious error, a pattern of error, and a decision made in bad faith – were all illustrated in a discipline case that led to the removal of a justice of the peace by the Louisiana Supreme Court last week.  In re Laiche, Opinion (Louisiana Supreme Court March 15, 2016).  The Court found that the judge’s “faulty interpretation of the law, failure to faithfully enforce it, incompetence and gross negligence in the administration of his office, and general indifference to these failures” have “negatively affected many lives and cast[] a dark shadow on the judiciary as a whole.”

The judge’s misconduct arose in 2 unrelated disputes in which he granted peace bonds applied for by family members against other family members.  (In Louisiana, in response to an application, a justice of the peace can require an individual to pay a peace bond that is held as security on the condition that the defendant not commit “the threatened or any related breach of the peace.”)

1 dispute involved “a heated and very unpleasant child custody case” that led to many altercations between the Vignes and LeBlanc families.  Over several years, the judge issued multiple peace bond orders against the ex-husband, his family, and his girlfriend at the request of the ex-wife and her family.

The second dispute arose following the death of Marvin Henderson.  Within a week, his children sought peace bonds against their stepmother, accusing her of inappropriate behavior following his death, including at his memorial service.

The Judiciary Commission found, and the Court agreed, that the judge had entered peace bond judgments without required hearings, had imposed peace bonds over the $1,000 maximum allowed by law, had imposed fees over the $15 cap set by law, had sentenced defendants who failed to pay the bond to more than the 5 days in jail allowed by law, had extended the terms of peace bonds beyond the 6-months allowed by law, and had not timely refunded peace bond money, in addition to other misconduct.

The Court held that some of the judge’s errors were egregious because they deprived individuals “of their freedom for an extensive period of time” or “violated the constitutional rights of the parties to present a defense,” noting “there is no greater expectation of our citizens” than that “judges will protect their constitutional rights before subjecting them to the loss of liberty.”  The Court found a pattern of legal error both in the 8 instances in which the judge impermissibly extended the terms of peace bonds and his numerous other legal errors regarding peace bonds.  Finally, the Court found that the judge made some of the errors in bad faith, noting, for example, that the judge personally benefitted from the “shortcuts” he took that allowed him to receive his justice of the peace salary without performing the work, leaving him more time for his law practice and other personal endeavors.

In an unrelated reminder of the importance of adhering to proper procedures, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to state chief justices and court administrators to address common court practices regarding the assessment and enforcement of fines and fees “that run afoul of the United States Constitution and/or other federal laws.”  Noting the Department’s commitment “to assisting state and local courts in their efforts to ensure equal justice and due process for all those who come before them,” the letter lists 7 requirements grounded in the rights to due process and equal protection:

(1) Courts must not incarcerate a person for nonpayment of fines or fees without first conducting an indigency determination and establishing that the failure to pay was willful;(2) Courts must consider alternatives to incarceration for indigent defendants unable to pay fines and fees;
(3) Courts must not condition access to a judicial hearing on the prepayment of fines or fees;
(4) Courts must provide meaningful notice and, in appropriate cases, counsel, when enforcing fines and fees;
(5) Courts must not use arrest warrants or license suspensions as a means of coercing the payment of court debt when individuals have not been afforded constitutionally adequate procedural protections;
(6) Courts must not employ bail or bond practices that cause indigent defendants to remain incarcerated solely because they cannot afford to pay for their release; and
(7) Courts must safeguard against unconstitutional practices by court staff and private contractors.

The letter urged the recipients to review rules and procedures, to forward a copy of the letter to every judge in the jurisdiction, to provide appropriate training, “and to develop resources, such as bench books, to assist judges in performing their duties lawfully and effectively.”

Throwback Thursday

 

10 years ago this month:

  • The Mississippi Supreme Court privately reprimanded a non-lawyer judge for accepting a plea agreement that did not comply with mandatory sentencing as the statute required. The Commission on Judicial Performance had recommended a public reprimand.  Commission on Judicial Performance v. Justice Court Judge T.T., 922 So. 2d 781 (Mississippi 2006).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, which the judge accepted, the Nebraska Supreme Court reprimanded a judge for saying “Son of a bitch. F—k— Bosnian” in the courtroom to court staff in reference to a defendant.  In re Lindner, 710 N.W.2d 866 (Nebraska 2006).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who had twice exhibited rude and demeaning conduct toward witnesses. In the Matter of Uplinger, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 15, 2006).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who had commenced a personal relationship with a prospective criminal complainant and assisted her both outside of court and in pursuing her legal claims. In the Matter of Clark, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 27, 2006).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured a judge who, while a candidate, prepared and distributed campaign literature that misrepresented that his opponent had refused to handle parking tickets, resulting in $400,000 in delinquent tickets. In the Matter of Kulkin, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 23, 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)
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a former judge for requesting a new female police office to spank him and then arrest him. Public Admonition of Ramos (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 6, 2006).

Objective affairs

Following a hearing on a complaint brought by the Judicial Inquiry Board, the Illinois Courts Commission suspended Judge Scott Drazewski for 4 months without pay and censured Judge Rebecca Foley for conduct related to their extramarital affair.  In re Drazewski, Foley, Order (Illinois Courts Commission March 11, 2016).  The Commission found that Judge Drazewski engaged in misconduct by presiding over cases, including a trial, in which Judge Foley’s husband represented a party without disclosing the relationship and by a pattern of deceptive conduct to hide the affair from the chief judge.  The Commission found that Judge Foley committed misconduct by failing to take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against Judge Drazewski even though she knew that he was presiding in cases involving her husband.

On December 5, 2010, the judges began an extramarital affair while attending a conference in Washington D.C.  Between December 5 and February 17, 2011, they had a romantic relationship, and, during part of that time, their relationship was sexually intimate.

On December 13, Judge Drazewski began presiding over a jury trial in a negligence action in which Judge Foley’s husband represented the defendant.  As of February 16, 2011, Judge Drazewski was presiding over approximately 8 cases in which Mr. Foley was the attorney for one of the parties.

On February 17 at the courthouse, Judge Foley told Judge Drazewski that her husband had confronted her about their relationship that morning.  2 days later, Judge Foley informed Judge Drazewski that Mr. Foley was requesting that Judge Drazewski recuse himself from Mr. Foley’s cases and “that if [he] didn’t, [Mr. Foley] was going to notify [Mrs. Drazewski].”  On February 22, Judge Drazewski began recusing himself from Mr. Foley’s cases.  He reported the recusals to the chief judge, citing several reasons but failing to mention that Mr. Foley had requested he recuse himself after learning of the affair.

The Commission found that Judge Drazewski’s subjective opinion that “he could be fair and impartial” was “of no moment.”

Whether a judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned is judged by an objective standard, not by the judge’s subjective opinion. . . .  Any objective onlooker with knowledge of the facts could reasonably question whether respondent Drazewski would have been inclined to rule unfavorably toward Mr. Foley due to his ongoing relationship with Mr. Foley’s wife.  Likewise, an objective onlooker could also suspect that respondent Drazewski would be motivated to rule favorably toward Mr. Foley out of guilt, at respondent Foley’s request, or in an attempt to preemptively thwart a later claim of judicial bias.  These scenarios, which need not be established here, nonetheless support the fact that respondent Drazewski’s impartiality could reasonably be questioned.

The Commission found that Judge Drazewski’s misconduct “was egregious.  The ethical dilemma he faced was one of his own making.  The decision to disclose or recuse was an easy and obvious choice to make, but was eschewed for personal and selfish reasons, and his continued deception cannot be ignored.”  Emphasizing that the sanction was “not because of the extramarital affair itself,” the Commission concluded that the affair was not limited to the respondents’ private lives because Judge Drazewski allowed it “to extend into his official capacity when he chose not to recuse himself from Mr. Foley’s cases and later attempted to mislead the chief judge.”

Having found that Judge Drazewski’s “misconduct was a clear violation of the Code,” the Commission determined that Judge Foley, “as a judge and an active participant in the undisclosed affair,” had knowledge that a violation had occurred and an obligation to “take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures.”  But, the Commission noted, she did not disclose the affair to Mr. Foley, insist that she and Judge Drazewski reveal their relationship, urge Judge Drazewski “to recuse himself, seek help or advise the Chief Judge of the facts,” or take any other action.

The court administrator and several other judges testified that they were aware of the affair based on their observations that, for example, the respondent-judges were spending a lot more time together in each other’s chambers, frequently behind closed doors; that, during meetings, they were texting back and forth (they would “press[] buttons, look up at the other one, the other one would look at their phone, read it, press buttons and so on”); and their flirtatious conduct at a Law Day event sponsored by the bar association.  Attorneys also began talking about a relationship between the respondent-judges to the other judges.  The Commission concluded that, because “[j]udges, attorneys and court personnel were concerned about the respondents’ relationship, and it was a distraction to the administration of justice in McLean and Livingston County . . .  the respondents’ relationship . . . has had a negative effect upon the integrity of, and respect for, the judiciary.”  The Commission also stated that many judges in the circuit “struggled with their own ethical obligations as a direct result” of respondents’ misconduct, noting particularly that the chief judge was investigated by the Board “not because of anything she did—but because she was continually misled by respondent Drazewski” and because of Judge Foley’s lack of candor with Judge Robb.