20 years ago this month:
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for (1) displaying injudicious temperament during a hearing, (2) directing that his son be placed on 6-months probation and attend defensive driving school, and (3) without prior notification to the prosecuting attorney, rescinding mandatory driver’s licenses suspensions contrary to a statute. Letter of Admonishment to Shoffner (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission November 19, 2002).
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission informally adjusted a complaint alleging that in response to a phone call from a suspect’s mother, a judge advised the arresting officer that he should seek a warrant for the defendant because the alleged crime did not take place in the officer’s presence; the officer had perceived the conversation as judicial advice and released the defendant from custody. Letter to Roberts (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission November 18, 2002).
- Approving the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court suspended a judge from office for 30 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for (1) angrily engaging in an ex parte discussion with another judge in that judge’s hearing room; (2) making materially incomplete and misleading statements in her deposition in the underlying case and in an errata sheet; and (3) requesting a scheduling favor for a family member from another judge. Inquiry Concerning Holloway, 832 So. 2d 716 (Florida 2002).
- Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, in 3 of the last 5 years, failing to file his financial disclosure statements by the required date, filing them only after the Ethics Commission sent him a notice to cure; the delays were almost 4 weeks, almost 2 months, and more than 7 months. In the Matter of Elliott, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 18, 2002).
- Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for making a public statement on behalf of a candidate for another judicial office in a radio advertisement, sending the statement to a newspaper, and authorizing the candidate to use it in a campaign advertisement. In the Matter of Crnkovich, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 18, 2002).
- Pursuant to a stipulation agreeing that a determination be made based on the referee’s findings of fact and conclusions and a joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for widely disseminating a letter he had sent to the Commission that contained inaccurate, unsubstantiated allegations denigrating a fellow judge. In the Matter of Fiechter, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 18, 2002).
- Accepting an agreement and affidavit, the North Dakota Supreme Court publicly censured a former judge (1) for failing to properly supervise the municipal court clerk in the performance of her duties, allowing the clerk to steal over $10,000 from funds held by the court; and (2) for the court’s failure (a) to forward demands for change of judge to the district court, resulting in several criminal cases being dismissed for lack of speedy trial, (b) to take action on a number of demands for change of judge made by the city in early 2002, (c) to process approximately 19 other municipal court cases between September 2001 and February 2002, (d) to notify the police department of dispositions of traffic citations and to report violations to the State licensing authority, and (e) failing to dispose of approximately 145 cases involving “long form” complaints processed by the police department for 2001. In the Matter of Berg, 653 N.W.2d 32 (North Dakota 2002).