Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Approving a stipulation, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) her conduct and demeanor in injunction, juvenile, and dependency cases; (2) ruling in a way that made it appear she did not know the law or refused to apply it; and (3) appearing on behalf of her sister at her sister’s first appearance after an arrest.  Inquiry Concerning Kautz, 149 So. 3d 681 (Florida 2014).
  • The Florida Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) operating a for-profit business from her judicial chambers using official time and judicial resources; offering to sell the business’s products in the courthouse to lawyers who appeared before her and courthouse employees; promoting the sale of the products on a web-site that included photographs of her in her judicial robes; and using her judicial assistant to promote and produce the products during working hours; (2) devoting less than full time to her judicial duties; (3) failing to pay state sales tax on the sale of her business products and to register the name of her business under the fictitious name law; and (4) demonstrating a lack of candor during the investigation.  Inquiry Concerning Hawkins, 151 So. 3d 1200 (Florida 2014).
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 12 months for failing to file her annual financial statements for 3 years, with 6 months deferred conditioned on her filing the statements within 3 months.  In re Myers, 156 So. 3d 11 (Louisiana 2014).
  • Approving an agreement for discipline by consent, the Maryland Court of Appeals suspended a judge for 30 days for (1) mocking and ridiculing a criminal defendant and his fiancé in a probation violation hearing and (2) being dismissive, disrespectful, and intemperate toward defense counsel during 2 post-conviction hearings; the Court stayed 25 days of the suspension if the judge successfully completes a 2-year probation.  In the Matter of Mays, Consent order (Maryland Court of Appeals October 21, 2014).
  • Granting a petition to accept a stipulation agreement, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for calling a magistrate judge to vouch for the character of a defendant in a case and to obtain special treatment for the defendant; the Court also ordered the judge to participate in a formal mentorship and to be on unsupervised probation for 1 year.  In the Matter of Ramos, Order (New Mexico Supreme Court October 14, 2014).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to appoint an interpreter for a Spanish-speaking tenant in a summary eviction.  In the Matter of Merino, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 2, 2014).
  • The Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for wearing a name badge identifying herself as “Colleen Mary O’Toole, Judge, 11th District Court of Appeals” while she was a judicial candidate and not an incumbent.  In re Judicial Campaign Complaint Against O’Toole, 24 N.E.3d 1114 (Ohio 2014).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge who had been convicted of 12 felonies in federal court based on his participation in the infamous “kids-for-cash scheme,” including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, honest services mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and filing a materially false tax return.  In re Ciavarella, 108 A.3d 983 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2014).
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed without an opinion the decision of the Court of Judicial Discipline removing a judge for (1) lying repeatedly on the questionnaires he submitted to the Philadelphia Bar Association Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention while running for judicial office and (2) twice being held in contempt in a court case arising from a Philadelphia Board of Ethics complaint against a PAC he represented and, to avoid paying a court-ordered fine, dissipating the PAC’s funds and engaging in delay, obfuscation, and deceit.  In re Nocella, 102 A.3d 422 (Pennsylvania 2014), affirming, Opinion (June 26, 2013) and Sanction order (Court of Judicial Discipline August 5, 2013).
  • Based on an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court reprimanded a judge for identifying herself as a judge in a call and letters to the magistrate assigned to her grandson’s case.  In the Matter of Johnson, 763 S.E.2d 812 (South Carolina 2014).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for telling a commissioner that a 12-hour hold should not have been placed on a defendant in a domestic violence case.  Moreland (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct October 22, 2014).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judge for (1) retaliating against 4 attorneys; (2) practicing law on behalf of his girlfriend, misusing government resources to do so, and injecting himself into litigation involving her children; (3) failing to disclose or to recuse from cases involving those with whom he had a close, personal relationship; and (4) lying under oath, engaging in witness tampering, and harassing, bullying, and maligning county officials, including 3 judges.  Public Reprimand of Dupuy (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 23, 2014).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and twice gratuitously identifying herself as a judge to the arresting officer.  In re Hitchcock (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 3, 2014).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to timely decide 3 matters.  In re Sullivan (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 3, 2014).
  • The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals suspended a judge without pay until the end of her term (December 2016) and censured her for having an extra-marital relationship with the director of the community corrections program and related misconduct.  In the Matter of Wilfong, 765 S.E.2d 283  (West Virginia 2014).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s