Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for advertising wedding services on his web-site. Jayne, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 9, 2012).
  • Adopting the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court removed a judge for asking the court manager to move his vehicle to avoid a process server attempting to serve him with an order of protection, continuing to hear cases involving such orders, invoking his position repeatedly with law enforcement authorities, and sending threatening texts to his wife. In the Matter of Woolbright, Order (Arizona Supreme Court July 23, 2012).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a judge for seeking preferential treatment from a court commissioner for a traffic citation issued to his wife. Inquiry Concerning Sarmiento, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 5, 2012).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for ordering an attorney to remain in the courtroom for over an hour and a half without adjudicating an alleged contempt and ordering the attorney to “spend every waking moment” working on the case until the preliminary hearing. Public Admonishment of Jacobson (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 11, 2012).
  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence and crashing the vehicle she was driving. Inquiry Concerning Nelson, 95 So. 3d 122 (Florida 2012).
  • The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, with the consent of the judge, made public the fact that it had privately reprimanded a judge but not the content of the reprimand; the report states that the matter originated with media reports that the judge had been arrested based on allegations he engaged in a physical altercation with his wife; subsequently, the judge and the prosecutor agreed that the charges would be dismissed based upon his pre-trial diversion agreement to attend marital and stress counseling. In re Weaver, Report of Disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission July 18, 2012).
  • With the judge’s consent, in lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for granting an ex parte motion for custody filed by a child’s maternal grandparents without notice to the non-custodial father or an opportunity for him to be heard. Public Admonition of Johnston (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 5, 2012).
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the Judicial Conduct Commission’s removal of a judge for (1) advocating at a county meeting that $500,000 donated by criminal defendants under a plea agreement be used to fund a water park; (2) making misstatements in an order; (3) establishing a special grand jury to discredit the judge-executive; (4) viewing videotapes regarding the sheriff’s investigation of the judge-executive; (5) presiding over 2 criminal cases that he had urged the state police to investigate and the commonwealth’s attorney to pursue; (6) urging the utility company to donate $12,500 for playground equipment at his children’s elementary school and raising funds for the equipment; and (8) removing an assistant public defender as counsel in cases without giving her an opportunity to be heard. Alred v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 395 S.W.3d 417 (Kentucky 2012).
  • Affirming the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) inappropriate financial transactions and practices, including misappropriating public funds; (2) failing to ensure that a business-attire policy was properly enforced and did not deny people access to the court; (3) knowingly rehiring an unqualified magistrate, misrepresenting that he was qualified, and requiring him to sign bench warrants, contrary to statute; (4) hiring her niece; and (5) making misrepresentations during the investigation and hearing, including lying under oath. In re James, 821 N.W.2d 144 (Michigan 2012).
  • Based on a stipulation of facts and consent, the Oregon Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for a 16-month delay in issuing a decision in a divorce case. Inquiry Concerning Avera, 283 P.3d 923 (Oregon 2012).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge and barred him from serving in judicial office based on his guilty plea to charges that he had taken sexual liberties with 2 women appearing in his courtroom. In re Cioppa, 51 A.3d 923 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2012).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 1 month without pay for failing to docket a citation received by her son and instructing her office manager not to docket it until the judge told her to do so; transferring the citation to another judge’s court in violation of county administrative rules that require a transfer order from the president judge; making false statements in a report to the president judge; and instructing her court manager to testify falsely at a deposition. In re Arnold, 51 A.3d 931 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for denying a motion to recuse in an order that recited facts that he should not have considered and accused the moving attorneys of misconduct. Re Gasaway (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary July 2, 2012).
  • Following a trial de novo, a Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge to use only names and titles when referring to individuals appearing in his courtroom and to refrain from referring to individuals’ appearance or parts of their body unless the reference was appropriate and necessary under the circumstances. In re Adams, Decision (Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court July 3, 2012).

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