Saturday, November 7, 2009
The Louisiana Supreme Court has ordered the removal of an elected judge of a district court for willful misconduct in office. The judge had inherited a accident case involving a reserve deputy sheriff as plaintiff. The disputed issue was whether the accident had caused a cracked tooth that led to a root canal. The judge was being mentored by a more senior judge who was a friend of the litigant.
The judicial violations involved the judge's awarding damages for reasons other than the merits. The misconduct came to light as part of taping conducted by the FBI in connection with Operation Wrinkled Robe. The plaintiff (who later admitted that his dental injury case was not all it was cracked up to be) and more senior judge pleaded guilty to criminal charges; no criminal case was brought against the removed judge.
The judge's testimony was found to be incredible on several key points. The court also reserved the possibility of further action against the judge's license to practice law.
A report from yesterday's on line edition of WWLTV.com is linked here. (Mike Frisch)