Based on an agreement and stipulation and the judge’s retirement, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary found that a former judge committed misconduct by appointing his son as an attorney in more than 200 indigent cases from August 2015 to July 2017, for which his son was paid approximately $105,000, not including any money paid under an indigent-defense contract, and taking judicial action in some of the cases and ordered that he pay costs of the prosecution. In the Matter of Chaney, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary February 24, 2020).
The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for ex parte communications with a temporary guardian about a pending matter and an independent investigation in the case. Stevens, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct January 31, 2020).
Based on the report of a referee following a hearing, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a judge from office for (1) engaging in a pattern of inappropriate behavior toward court staff, including unwelcome comments of a sexual nature; (2) allowing his court secretary to prepare a letter as part of his effort to obtain payment for legal work he had performed prior to becoming a full-time judge; and (3) failing to timely and accurately report his extra-judicial income to the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System, the Internal Revenue Service, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the court clerk. In the Matter of Miller, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 14, 2020).
Adopting the findings, conclusion, and recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission based on a stipulation and agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for making “detailed, affirmative and specific factual assertions to the State Bar during its investigation” that he “knew were unsupported by any personal recollection or documentation” and were misleading, grossly negligent, and made with reckless disregard for the truth on letterhead bearing the imprimatur of the North Carolina Judicial Branch. In re Stone (North Carolina Supreme Court February 28, 2020).
The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for attempting to impose a 10-day jail on a defendant who failed to accept a plea agreement and attempting to influence a witness’s statement to the Commission. Public Warning of Gray (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 7, 2020).
The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for removing an attorney as appointed defense counsel in 14 cases, instructing a defendant to “shop around” for another attorney after he removed her defense attorney and failing to appoint her counsel for 3 months, and posting a list of attorneys on the court’s website and disseminating a list to criminal defendants in his court. Public Warning of Cox(Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 7, 2020).
The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to maintain her Texas law license in good standing and failing to cooperate with the Commission. Public Reprimand of Slaughter (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 7, 2020).