25 years ago this month:
- Affirming the order of the Judicial Retirement and Removal Commission, the Kentucky Supreme Court publicly censured a former judicial candidate for campaign advertisements that stated: “Jed Deters is a Pro-Life Candidate.” Deters v. Judicial Retirement and Removal Commission, 873 S.W.2d 200 (Kentucky 1994).
- Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for driving while intoxicated and losing control of the car; when asked his name by a police office, giving his name and judicial office; and asking the officer, “Isn’t there anything we can do?” In the Matter of Henderson, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 18, 1994).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for failing to remit court funds promptly to the state comptroller as required by statute; failing to respond to 4 letters from Commission counsel and failing to appear to testify; and failing to make deposits to his official court account for almost 6 months even though a statute required deposits within 72 hours of receipt. In the Matter of Giffin, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 18, 1994).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for stating to a jury after it had rendered a guilty verdict: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very happy that you reached that disposition because the Dominican people are just killing us in the courts” and making similar comments. In the Matter of Cunningham, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 18, 1994).
- Reviewing the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, the Oregon Supreme Court suspended a judge for 45 days without pay for (1) refusing to recuse himself in several cases involving an attorney who had filed a complaint with the Commission that the judge publicized with his opinion of the attorney; (2) meeting privately with the district attorney, at the judge’s initiation, on the general subject of his disqualification in several cases with a specific reference to a case in which a disqualification motion was pending; and (3) writing a letter to the editor and a guest editorial published in a local paper that criticized the district attorney. In re Schenck, 870 P.2d 185 (Oregon 1994).
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed a judge from office for failing to recuse from 33 cases involving parties who had loaned the judge or her family money and with whom she had a close personal relationship. Pekarski v. Judicial Inquiry and Review Board, 639 A.2d 759 (Pennsylvania 1994).
- Affirming the recommendation of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Review Tribunal appointed by Texas Supreme Court removed a judge from office for conspiring to extort money from a probationer, altering conditions of probation ex parte, and granting credit for time served in excess of time actually served. In re Thoma, 873 S.W.2d 477 (Texas Special Court of Review 1994).
- The Vermont Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former, non-lawyer judge for had, while a judge, purchasing a paid political advertisement in a newspaper that supported candidates for national, state-wide, and local offices. In re Steady, 641 A.2d 117 (Vermont 1994).