Patricia D. Warner
Patricia D. Warner was a judge of Circuit 15 in Alabama. Warner stepped down from the court in June 2011. Originally, she had announced her retirement as of July 15th, but suddenly left the court in June, offering no explanation to reporters.
On June 20, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary filed a civil complaint against Warner, alleging 74 charges. The former judge is charged with ruling in favor of a defendant after accepting substantial campaign contributions. The complaint also makes note of Warner's record: in 29 cases that were appealed, in only two was her judgment upheld by Warner has thirty days to respond to the allegations.
The full complaint can be found here.
Warner denies accusations
Warner responded to the allegations in mid-July, calling the whole report fraudulent. She also insisted that the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission was no longer eligible to pursue charges against her, since she retired from her position in June. The commission will proceed with its standard legal proceedings.
On Friday, January 27, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed its settlement agreement where Warner was officially barred from serving as a judge in Alabama due to “the appearance of impropriety” that was established in her reluctance to recuse herself in a timely manner from a custody case that was included in the original charges. She agreed to one charge and the remaining 73 charges were dropped. Despite the settlement, Warner maintained that the charges "were all made up.”
Warner ran for re-election. She defeated Kathy Brown in the Democratic primary with 53% of the vote. She competed against Julie Weller in the general election, earning 55.62% of the vote, compared to Weller's 44.38% of the vote.
- Main article: Alabama judicial elections, 2010
- To see a Q&A piece with the candidates for this seat, visit: Montgomery Advertiser, "Candidate Q&A: Family court hopefuls stress importance of court," October 13, 2010
The Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) filed a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Commission, alleging that Warner implied that the ADC endorsed her in a flier. In response, Warner's attorney said, "The ballot that Judge Warner's campaign put out was entirely accurate. Judge Warner was in fact overwhelmingly recommended by the MCDC (Montgomery County Democratic Conference)." The proceedings of the Judicial Inquiry Commission are confidential, so until a verdict is released, the public is not aware of the discussion.
- Judge Patricia Warner Facebook page
- Montgomery Advertiser Editorial "Keep case public," December 1, 2011
- Alabama State Bar: Circuit 15 officials and contact information
- Montgomery Advertiser, "Montgomery Family Court judge leaves sooner than expected," June 16, 2011
- Montgomery Advertiser, "State court serves complaint on Patricia Warner; document includes 74 charges," June 20, 2011
- Montgomery Advertiser, "Retired Judge Warner denies charges in judicial inquiry," July 22, 2011
- Montgomery Advertiser, "Patricia Warner banned from serving as Alabama judge" 1/27/2012
- The Montgomery Advertiser, "Warner wins heated race for Montgomery judge," June 2, 2010
- TimesDaily.com, "Election 2010 Runoff Results
- Montgomery Advertiser, "ADC files complaint against judge over ad," July 20, 2010