Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • Adopting the findings and conclusions of the Commission on Judicial Conduct and affirming the recommended sanction, the Arizona Supreme Court removed a justice of the peace from office for asking the court manager to move his vehicle to avoid a process server attempting to serve him with an order of protection, continuing to hear cases involving such orders, invoking his position repeatedly with law enforcement authorities, and sending threatening texts to his wife; the Court also ordered that the judge shall not hold judicial office or perform judicial functions in Arizona for at least 5 years.  In the Matter of Woolbright, Order (Arizona Supreme Court July 23, 2012).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge because he failed to resolve issues on his website about advertisements for weddings services despite receiving an informal sanction.  Jayne, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 9, 2012).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a judge for seeking preferential treatment from a commissioner of his court for a traffic citation issued to his wife.  Inquiry Concerning Sarmiento, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 5, 2012).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for ordering an attorney he had said was contemptuous to remain in the courtroom for over an hour and a half without adjudicating the alleged contempt and for ordering the attorney to “spend every waking moment” working on the case until the preliminary hearing to the exclusion of other cases and social activity.  Public Admonishment of Jacobson (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 11, 2012).
  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence and crashing the vehicle she was driving.  Inquiry Concerning Nelson, 95 So. 3d 122 (Florida 2012).
  • With the judge’s consent, in lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for granting an ex parte motion for custody filed by a child’s maternal grandparents without prior notice to the non-custodial father or an opportunity for him to be heard.  Public Admonition of Johnston (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 5, 2012).
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the Judicial Conduct Commission’s removal of a judge for (1) advocating at a county meeting that $500,000 donated by criminal defendants under a plea agreement be used to fund a water park; (2) making misstatements in an order; (3) establishing a special grand jury to discredit the judge-executive; (4) viewing videotapes regarding the sheriff’s investigation of the judge-executive; (5) presiding over 2 criminal cases that he had urged the state police to investigate and the commonwealth’s attorney to pursue; (6) urging Kentucky Utilities to donate $12,500 for playground equipment at his children’s elementary school; (7) raising funds for playground equipment for his children’s school; and (8) removing an assistant public defender as counsel in cases without giving her an opportunity to be heard.  Alred v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 395 S.W.3d 417 (Kentucky 2012).
  • Affirming the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) inappropriate financial transactions and practices, including misappropriating public funds; (2) failing to ensure that a business-attire policy was properly enforced and did not deny people access to the court; (3) knowingly rehiring an unqualified magistrate, misrepresenting that he was qualified, and requiring him to sign bench warrants, contrary to statute; (4) hiring her niece; and (5) making misrepresentations during the investigation and hearing, including lying under oath.  In re James, 821 N.W.2d 144 (Michigan 2012).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a judge for 4 months without pay for attending a holiday party hosted by the probation association and, while at the party, touching women and making sexually suggestive remarks to them; as a prerequisite to the resumption of his duties, the Court ordered the judge to participate in a rehabilitative program.  In the Matter of Jones, 47 A.3d 736 (New Jersey 2012).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge and barred him from serving in judicial office after finding that he had committed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and conduct that brought the judicial office into disrepute when he took sexual liberties with 2 women appearing in his courtroom.  In re Cioppa, 51 A.3d 923 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for denying a motion to recuse in an order that recited facts that he should not have considered and that accused the moving attorneys of misconduct.  Re Gasaway (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary July 2, 2012).

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