‘Clear and convincing proof’ to take away Gordon

June 23—The state Judicial Conduct Fee had “clear and convincing proof” that Julia Hawes Gordon had abused her place because the Daviess household court docket choose when the fee voted 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 attraction to the state’s highest court docket. Gordon is interesting her elimination from her as household choose. 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 choose to learn her grownup son, Dalton Gordon, in his legal circumstances — particularly by contacting county lawyer Claud Porter, District Choose 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, corresponding to appointing Wilkey and a companion in her husband’s regulation agency as guardians advert litem, that are attorneys paid by the case in Household Court docket.

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

In her attraction, Gordon mentioned the JCC determination was made utilizing “frivolous, baseless, inflammatory, and at instances even harmful claims” towards her. Gordon mentioned all through the method, and in her attraction, that the fees towards her have been introduced by a disgruntled former court docket 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 choose with no regard for the intense influence her motion had on the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” Mando wrote.

The proof confirmed “an in depth sample of Choose 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 from no less than three circumstances the place Gordon “inappropriately inserted herself” into the method. In a March 2020 listening to, Burlew mentioned throughout considered one of Dalton Gordon’s hearings that Burlew had met with Julia Gordon for 45 minutes concerning the case the day earlier than.

Gordon, Mando wrote, “engaged in ex parte communications with the presiding choose in a single case, used her judicial place to realize favorable remedy for her son from numerous court docket and county officers, strong-armed Dalton’s legal 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 legal circumstances,” Mando wrote. When Dalton had new fees in 2020, Gordon “continued to exert her judicial affect over each the presiding choose and the Daviess County lawyer to unilaterally decide the result of her son’s legal 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 of eradicating photographs and gadgets from his social media and telephones. Gordon testified gadgets have been eliminated to guard her youthful kids, as a result of Dalton typically used their telephones.

“No matter her rationale for doing so, the very fact stays that Choose Gordon deleted materials from her son’s social media accounts after he 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 accessible to different inmates.”

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

Gordon “repeatedly maintained launched she had ‘no authority to rent or fireplace attorneys for (her) grownup son'” throughout the listening to, Mando wrote, however that “counsel for the Fee 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 “1000’s of {dollars}” to rent lawyer Clay Wilkey for Dalton’s protection, Mando wrote.

“(W)hen Choose Gordon presided over Wilkey’s circumstances (when Wilkey was a guardian advert litem), she by no means disclosed to 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 cases of misconduct,” however “‘concerned Choose 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.

I ship requested Supreme Court docket justices maintain oral arguments within the attraction. The Supreme Court docket will later decide whether or not to carry oral arguments.

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

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