November 16, 2011
Living Outside Of Hennepin County
The Minnesota Supreme Court has imposed a censure and six-month suspension without pay for judicial misconduct by a Hennepin County District Court Judge. The misconduct involved the judge's failure to reside in her judicial district while serving in office and lack of candor and cooperation with the ensuing investigation of her residency status.
The judicial residence requirement is contained in the Minnesota Constitution.
There is a concurring opinion that would find the sanction appropriate solely for the lack of candor.
StarTribune has this report and description of the hearing:
A three-day hearing in January delved into a litany of personal information about Karasov and her family, including her two daughters and her ex-husband, Hennepin County District Judge Fred Karasov.
Karasov represented herself during the hearing, cross-examining her ex-husband and his wife. Witnesses also included people who said they were neighbors of Karasov when she lived at the lake home in Chisago City, northeast of the Twin Cities and well outside her district.
According to the board, Karasov, who was elected to serve in the Fourth Judicial District in 1995, lived in Chisago City with Hennepin County Sheriff's Deputy Catherine Christman from April 2007 until the fall of 2009.
The board alleged that Karasov tried to justify withholding information about her residences by saying that a man had stalked her. She refused to tell the board the man's name or give other details, saying that "the board does not have unlimited power to delve into the personal life of every judge.''
More on the hearing from StarTribune here. (Mike Frisch)
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