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Misconduct Report: November 2014

Patricia D. Warner

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Patricia D. Warner was a judge of Circuit 15 in Alabama.[1] 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.[2]

Ethics allegations

Charges

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.[3]

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.[4]

Settlement

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.”[5]

2010 election

Warner ran for re-election. She defeated Kathy Brown in the Democratic primary with 53% of the vote.[6] She competed against Julie Weller in the general election, earning 55.62% of the vote, compared to Weller's 44.38% of the vote.[7]

Main article: Alabama judicial elections, 2010

Campaign complaint

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)."[8] The proceedings of the Judicial Inquiry Commission are confidential, so until a verdict is released, the public is not aware of the discussion.

See also

External links

References

Alabama Supreme CourtAlabama Court of Civil AppealsAlabama Court of Criminal AppealsAlabama Circuit CourtsAlabama Municipal CourtsAlabama Probate CourtsAlabamaAlabama countiesAlabama judicial newsAlabama judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of AlabamaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitAlabamaTemplate.jpg