Top judicial ethics stories of 2018
In 2018, as a result of state disciplinary proceedings:
- 7 judges (or a former judge in 1 case) were removed from office.
- 25 judges resigned or retired in lieu of discipline and agreed to never serve again pursuant to public agreements with conduct commissions.
- 1 judge agreed to resign and was publicly admonished.
- 11 judges were suspended without pay as a final sanction. 1 suspension was indefinite and included a public censure. The other suspensions ranged from 6 days to 3 years and included suspensions for 15 days, 30 days, 35 days (plus a public censure), 45 days (plus a public censure), 60 days, 3 months (plus a $1,000 fine), 6 months, and 180 days (to be reduced to 90 days if the judge agreed to conditions such a mentor and monthly reports on pending cases).
- 84 judges (or former judges in 11 cases) received public censures, reprimands, admonishments, or warnings. There were:
- 15 public censures (2 former judges were barred from serving in judicial office as well as censured; 1 censure included a $2,000 fine, 1 included an agreement not to run for re-election, and 3 included orders of additional education)
- 39 public reprimands (1 included a suspension without loss of compensation, 9 included additional conditions)
- 23 public admonishments (in 6 cases, additional education was also ordered)
- 7 public warnings (5 also ordered additional education)
- 3 cease and desist orders.
- 5 former judges were disbarred or their law licenses were suspended in attorney discipline proceedings for conduct while they were judges.
Approximately 57% of the sanctions were entered pursuant to an agreement. This count does not include pending recommendations or decisions pending on appeal, and “judge” refers generically to judicial officers, including justices, magistrates, commissioners, and hearing officers.