Archive for the ‘Judge suspended’ Category

Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

November 15, 2013

A federal magistrate Friday recommended upholding an indictment accusing Family Court Judge Steven Jones of participating in a decade-long investment fraud scheme.

Attorneys Robert Draskovich and Gary Modafferi had argued in court papers that the 20-count federal indictment should be dismissed against Jones because it violated the five-year statute of limitations.

They contended the actions alleged in the indictment were vague and old, making it difficult for the judge to defend himself. Key witnesses in the FBI investigation, including the judge’s father, have died over the years and no longer are available to be questioned, the lawyers argued.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. concluded that the charges laying out the protracted scheme in the indictment did not violate the statute of limitations.

“The indictment on its face, sufficiently alleges that (Jones) participated in conspiracies to commit wire fraud and launder money, and that overt acts in furtherance of those conspiracies were committed within five years of the filing of the indictment,” Foley wrote.

Draskovich said Foley did not prohibit the defense from raising the statute of limitations issues later in the case.

“I can understand at this point in time he’d be reluctant to grant the motion, but nonetheless his order allows us to refile the motion in the future,” Draskovich said.

Jones, 54, first elected to Family Court in 1992, was suspended from the bench after his November 2012 indictment. He has continued to receive his $200,000 annual salary.

The longtime judge was charged with using the power of his office to carry out a $3 million investment fraud scheme, which authorities alleged began in 2002. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Jones, his former brother-in-law, Thomas A. Cecrle Jr., and four others face criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. They are to stand trial March 3.

Jones also faces state judicial misconduct charges. He is accused of violating the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct by mishandling a romantic relationship in 2011 with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing on the allegations in Las Vegas.

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Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

Galveston judge arrested for contempt

August 30, 2013

GALVESTON – A Galveston judge already suspended and awaiting trial on criminal charges was arrested Wednesday for contempt of court and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy was sentenced to 45 days in the Galveston County Jail for using his Facebook page to make personal attacks on the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General David Glickler.

Harris County District Judge Ryan Patrick, who is overseeing Dupuy’s criminal case in Galveston district court, also ordered Dupuy to cease using the Internet, any social media platforms or any electronic media to communicate about his case.

A gag order prevents Glickler and Dupuy’s attorneys from commenting.

The gag order was already in effect when Patrick on July 25 ordered Dupuy in court to refrain from discussing the case or posting information about it on Facebook, according to the order issued Wednesday. Nevertheless, Dupuy attempted to file criminal complaints against Glickler with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office alleging witness tampering and contacted the media about the complaints, Patrick said in his order. Dupuy filed the complaints even though he has two attorneys appointed by the court, Adam Brown and Matthew Fox Curl. There was no indication that either attorney was aware that their client was filing complaints against Glickler.

“The court finds that Christopher Michael Dupuy has willfully and wantonly refused to comply with this court’s lawful order,” the order reads.

Patrick also chose a doctor to conduct an immediate psychiatric evaluation of Dupuy.

“It is the court’s opinion that there is evidence to support a finding of incompetency and that the defendant should be examined” as provided by law, the judge said in his order. The examiner was ordered to furnish a report saying whether Dupuy is competent to stand trial and whether he has a mental illness.

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Galveston judge arrested for contempt

Deal allows Galveston judge replacement

August 6, 2013

GALVESTON – Indicted Galveston County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy agreed Thursday to a deal allowing a replacement judge to be named until criminal and civil cases against him are resolved.

Although Dupuy is under suspension by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, a second suspension order was sought in a civil lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and local attorney Greg Hughes.

The suspension in the civil lawsuit will allow visiting District Judge Robert Kern of Fort Bend County to appoint a temporary replacement in County Court-at-Law Court No. 3.

Noting that Dupuy is already suspended, Assistant Attorney General David Glickler called the second suspension “an exercise in legal gymnastics.”

Dupuy was indicted last month on eight criminal charges relating to his conduct in office, including two felony charges of official oppression. A Galveston County grand jury issued a ninth indictment last week accusing Dupuy of improperly practicing law as a sitting judge.

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Deal allows Galveston judge replacement

Retraction and Apology to District Judge Kerry Neves of Texas

Connecticut judge suspended 30 days for late decisions

June 20, 2013
A Connecticut state judge has been suspended for 30 business days after admitting being late in issuing child welfare rulings.

The suspension approved Wednesday by the state Judicial Review Council was the second discipline in four years against Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield. She was also suspended for eight months in 2009 after being accused of drunken driving and using racial slurs while arguing with Glastonbury police.

Cofield apologized for her conduct Wednesday during a more than 30-minute speech before the council. She said she has done many good deeds including helping women get off drugs and prostitution.

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Connecticut judge suspended 30 days for late decisions