‘Clear and convincing proof’ to take away Gordon

Jun. 23 — The State Judicial Conduct Fee had “clear and convincing proof” that Julia Hawes Gordon had abused her place as Daviess household courtroom decide when the fee took to take away Gordon from the judgeship, the JCC’s lawyer argues in doc filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court docket.

On Wednesday, the JCC filed its response to Gordon’s enchantment to the state’s highest courtroom. Gordon is interesting her removing as a household decide. In April, the JCC moved Gordon from the bench after a three-day listening to, the place they examined proof and heard testimony from Gordon and a number of witnesses.

The JCC discovered that Gordon used her place as a decide to learn her grownup son, Dalton Gordon, in his felony circumstances – particularly by contacting county lawyer Claud Porter, District Decide Daniel “Nick” Burlew and Dalton’s protection lawyer, Clay Wilkey, to get favorable outcomes for Dalton’s circumstances.

The JCC additionally dominated Gordon had violated judicial canons by creating and never eradicating conflicts of curiosity, akin to appointing Wilkey and a associate in her husband’s legislation agency as guardians advert litem, that are attorneys paid by the case in Household Court docket.

Commissioners dominated Gordon had retaliated towards social staff and others in her courtroom who disagreed along with her rulings and let workplace staff conduct drug checks on Household Court docket shoppers, which had been mishandled. Additionally they dominated Gordon had not been candid with the fee in her statements to the fee.

In her enchantment, Gordon mentioned the JCC choice was made utilizing “frivolous, baseless, inflammatory, and at instances even harmful claims” towards her. Gordon mentioned all through the method, and in her enchantment, that the costs towards her had been introduced by a disgruntled former courtroom worker.

The response was filed by Jeffrey Mando, a Covington lawyer who represented the JCC on the listening to.

The proof towards Gordon “painted an image of a reckless decide with no regard for the grave influence her motion had on the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” Mando wrote.

The proof confirmed “an in depth sample of Decide Gordon exercising improper affect for each her personal profit and the advantage of her son, in addition to a blatant disregard for acceptable requirements of judicial apply,” Mando wrote.

Relating to her son’s circumstances, Mando argues commissioners heard testimony of at the very least three circumstances the place Gordon “inappropriately inserted herself” into the method. In a March 2020 listening to, Burlew mentioned throughout one in all Dalton Gordon’s hearings that Burlew had met with Julia Gordon for 45 minutes in regards to the case the day earlier than.

Gordon, Mando wrote, “engaged in ex parte communications with the presiding decide in a single case, used her judicial place to realize favorable therapy for her son from numerous courtroom and county officers, strong-armed Dalton’s felony protection lawyer and destroyed potential proof to guard her son. “

Gordon had privately admonished by the JCC in 2018, “for her inappropriate involvement in Dalton’s felony circumstances,” Mando wrote. When Dalton had new prices in 2020, Gordon “continued to exert her judicial affect over each the presiding decide and the Daviess County lawyer to unilaterally decide the end result of her son’s felony circumstances,” Mando wrote.

On the JCC listening to in April, commissioners heard recordings between Gordon and Dalton whereas he was in jail, the place she talked about eradicating photographs and gadgets from his social media and telephones. Gordon examined gadgets had been eliminated to guard her youthful youngsters, as a result of Dalton typically used their telephones.

“No matter her rationale for doing so, the actual fact stays that Decide Gordon deleted materials from her son’s social media accounts after that they had been arrested and brought into custody,” Mando wrote.

Mando wrote the fee heard proof that Gordon had used her place to get particular visits for her and her son whereas he was in jail, “which was not obtainable to different inmates.”

Additionally, by permitting Wilkey, and Andrew Johnson, a associate in her husband’s legislation agency, to be guardians advert litem in her courtroom, Gordon “utterly failed to understand and keep away from the overt notion of favoritism,” Mando wrote.

Gordon “repeatedly maintained she had ‘no authority to rent or fireplace attorneys for (her) grownup son'” through the listening to, Mando wrote, however that “counsel for the Fee launched quite a few displays demonstrating this was merely not true.”

For instance, in a recorded name whereas Dalton was in jail, Gordon tells Dalton she paid “hundreds of {dollars}” to rent lawyer Clay Wilkey for Dalton’s protection, Mando wrote.

“(W) hen Decide Gordon presided over Wilkey’s circumstances (when Wilkey was a guardian advert litem), she by no means disclosed to the opposing counsel the battle of curiosity offered by Wilkey’s illustration of her son,” Mando wrote.

Whereas a number of the JCC’s findings by themselves may not have led to Gordon being eliminated, the case “was not about one or two remoted situations of misconduct,” however “‘concerned Decide Gordon’s sample of misconduct and her repeated train of poor judgment and her engagement in profoundly unwise motion … that continued for years’, “Mondo quoted from the JCC’s ruling.

Mando requested the Supreme Court docket of Justice to carry oral arguments within the enchantment. The Supreme Court docket will decide later whether or not to carry oral arguments.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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