20 years ago this month:
- Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for (1) ordering “instanter trials” in 18 criminal neglect of family cases immediately after the defendants pleaded not guilty and (2) violating the Commission’s confidentiality rules by asking if a litigant wanted him to recuse based on the complaint the litigant had filed against him. In re Aucoin, 767 So. 2d 30 (Louisiana 2000).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a part-time judge who had been convicted of 2 misdemeanors for physically abusing a mentally incompetent patient in a nursing home where she was employed as a licensed practical nurse. In the Matter of Stiggins, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 18, 2000).
- Adopting the recommendation of the panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered a 6-month stayed suspension for a judge for, while a candidate, failing to closely supervise campaign activities; failing to report a township’s contributions of the use of a township garage for producing campaign signs and the value of labor of inmates and welfare workers; and exaggerating his endorsements. Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Evans, 733 N.E.2d 609 (Ohio 2000).
- Based on stipulations of fact, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline severely reprimanded a senior district justice, and ordered him ineligible to accept any assignments for contacting another district justice seeking favorable treatment for a friend in connection with a traffic violation. In re Kelly, 757 A.2d 456 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2000).
- Pursuant to a stipulation and agreement, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge and the Washington Supreme Court suspended him without pay for 5 months for (1) engaging in abusive and intemperate language and behavior toward court staff and colleagues, (2) improperly entering ex parte orders without a hearing or notice to parties, and (3) engaging in numerous ex parte contacts in a child custody dispute, including undertaking an ex parte investigation outside the courtroom. In re Tollefson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 21, 2000). approved (Washington Supreme Court August 30, 2000).