Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Alaska Supreme Court recently censured a judge of the District Court for the State of Alaska based on a stipulation that the judge had (1) pre-signed bail orders and made the documents available to prosecutors to fill in the blanks; (2) allowed speedy trial times to lapse, resulting in dismissals of "a significant number of criminal cases;" (3) engaged in improper ex parte communications and gave preferential treatment to a defendant in a case where he should have recused himself; and (4) made inappropriate sexual comments to female court employees in the workplace.
The judge had vacated his judicial office and agreed not to seek or hold any such position in the future. The matter can be revived if he does seek such office. The written censure was deemed sufficient -- he does not need to personally appear to have the censure administered. (Mike Frisch)