21 April 2014

Larimer County Judge Is Suspended, Publicly Censured And Resigns

Larimer County, Colorado Judge Robert A. Rand was suspended on July 3, 2013 and then accepted a resolution of his case in which he received a public censure (in case 13SA172) from the Colorado Supreme Court, and resigned on February 10, 2014.  Somehow, I managed to miss the news when it happened.

The censure identifies seven instances when he made inappropriate joking comments about people who encountered in the court, six of which were sexist.  It identifies two instances of inappropriate ex parte communications, one as a result of technological ignorance about how to do a conference call and a more serious case where he talked to a former paralegal related to a married couple coming before him as criminal defendants and failed to recuse himself.  It also identifies numerous inappropriate, off the record discussions with criminal defendants after proceedings ended.

The disciplinary counsel has identified problems created by the excessive confidentiality requirements involved in the formal judicial disciplinary process that is rarely invoked.

On the whole, it is reassuring that Colorado's judicial disciplinary process manage to bring about the resignation of a judge who engaged in repeated, albeit minor, judicial ethics violations, without the intense political tussle of a legislative impeachment proceeding or cumbersome and not always well informed process of a retention election.

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