EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSJUDGE SUSPENSION RECOMMENDED
from Eyewitness News Online
West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board Recommends Suspension For Family Law Judge
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 27, 2012 3:06 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 4, 2012 10:49 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board has recommended that a Putnam County family law judge be suspended without pay until his present term of office ends on Dec. 31, 2016.
The proposed sanctions against Family Law Judge William Watkins were filed with the state Supreme Court, and the Judicial Hearing Board recommended that the high court follow its recommendations.
In addition, the board recommends that Watkins should be censured on each of his 24 violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct and that he should pay the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of the proceedings.
The hearing board rejected the recommended discipline for Watkins. A special judicial prosecutor had recommended a 90-day suspension for the judge who screamed at people in his courtroom, delayed rulings and cursed at litigants.
A court spokeswoman said the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Watkins have 30 days to consent or object to the order. The deadline is Jan. 2, 2013.
A special judicial prosecutor is recommending a 90-day suspension for a Putnam County family law judge who screamed at people in his courtroom, delayed rulings and cursed at litigants. However, that proposed 90-day suspension without pay would be stayed while he addresses deficiencies and undergoes counseling and judicial training.
That Putnam County family court judge accused of misconduct has apologized and agreed to pay nearly $18,000 in costs.
William Watkins appeared before the state Judicial Hearing Board on Tuesday on charges filed by the state Judicial Investigation Commission.
Watkins admitted to charges that he delayed rulings, failed to enter domestic violence orders into the state's tracking system and screamed and cursed at litigants.
Watkins and Judicial Counsel Rachael Fletcher Cipoletti agreed to proposed sanctions, including the costs of the investigation and court proceeding.
A hearing board will make its recommendation to the state Supreme Court.
Even before Tuesday’s hearing before the West Virginia Judicial Hearing Board started, Family Law Judge William Watkins had admitted to a pattern of misconduct. He was apologetic on the witness stand and vowed to correct the way he ran his courtroom and office.
Several people appeared at the hearing to complain about the judge’s behavior.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
2012 NEWS: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.