20 years ago this month:
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance removed a judge from office for (1) instructing clerks to dismiss 3 tickets received by an acquaintance, the acquaintance’s wife, and his niece and dismissing a ticket received by the minor son of a reserve deputy sheriff who had occasionally acted as the judge’s bailiff and (2) attempting to influence other judicial officers regarding his godfather’s speeding ticket, about the bail for the daughter of a family from his church, and in a juvenile delinquency proceeding involving a family he had represented while an attorney. Inquiry Concerning Platt, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance August 5, 2002).
- Based on a joint recommendation and stipulation of facts, the Illinois Courts Commission suspended a judge without pay for 6 months for (1) submitting tax returns signed by an attorney as “paid tax preparer” when the attorney had not prepared the returns; (2) signing an attorney’s name as “paid tax preparer” to tax returns; (3) presiding over a case involving his wife’s daughter; (4) presiding over a case involving a friend; (5) failing to identify 1 creditor and 3 lawsuits in which he was the defendant on his financial disclosure statements; and (6) failing to appear when a civil case in which he was a defendant was scheduled for trial and personally asked the presiding judge for a continuance. In re Kutrubis (Illinois Courts Commission August 30, 2002).
- With his consent, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a senior judge for rulings in 2 criminal cases based on facts outside the evidence or before the state had presented its evidence. Public Admonition of Brewer (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications August 22, 2002).
- Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, in violation of a statute, ordering a handgun seized from a minor forfeited to the court even after charges against the minor were dismissed. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Lewis, 830 So. 2d 1138 (Mississippi 2002).
- The Indiana Supreme Court approved an agreement between a judge and the Commission on Judicial Qualifications in which the judge resigned from office in return for dismissal of the Commission’s recommendation that he be removed for considering and granting an ex parte request for temporary custody of a child without giving prior notice to the child’s mother or following the procedural requirements for granting such a petition and issuing 2 orders to the county auditor ordering that the law firm representing him be paid out of the county general fund. In the Matter of Kern, 774 N.E.2d 878 (Indiana 2002).