Daviess Family Judge Julie Hawes Gordon, who is facing charges of misconduct and abuse of power from the Judicial Conduct Commission, has agreed to be temporarily removed from the bench.
Gordon’s attorney, R. Kent Westberry sent a statement from Gordon on Thursday afternoon, saying she agreed to a temporary suspension beginning this week.
The statement says: “In order to minimize disruptions to litigants and attorneys who need to schedule in Family Court, I have voluntarily agreed to a temporary suspension from my duties as the Family Judge for the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, effective December 3, 2021.”
Of the pending charges, Gordon said, “I look forward to a prompt resolution by the Judicial Conduct Commission.” Gordon, in a previous statement, denied the charges, calling them “frivolous allegations.”
A JCC announced the charges against Gordon last week. Among other things, the JCC says Gordon allegedly used her position as a judge to help her son, Dalton Gordon, who was facing criminal charges, by trying to influence the outcome of his case.
The JCC also alleged Gordon had staff administering drug tests who were improperly trained to do so, and that Gordon ordered drug tests “arbitrarily.” The JCC alleges Gordon “misrepresented material facts” during the JCC investigation.
Also, the JCC alleges Gordon mismanaged her courtroom by keeping children in court “for unreasonable lengths of time,” exceeded her authority by attempting to impose fines on Cabinet for Health and Family Service workers who didn’t file reports on time, ordered juvenile placements that were inconsistent Cabinet for Health and Family Services recommendations, had conflicts of interest, and filed a complaint against former Family Judge John McCarty “as a retaliatory measure.”
A hearing had previously been set for Dec. 15 to consider whether Gordon should be temporarily removed from the bench. The status of that hearing was unclear Thursday night.
McCarty, who was appointed Daviess County’s second family judge, announced he was retiring from the position over the summer to return to working full-time as a district judge in the 38th Judicial District. Currently, Daviess District Judge David Payne is working part-time as a family judge, while still handling some cases in Daviess District Court.
In an email, Leigh Anne Hiatt, public information officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, said the agency has not determined how Family Court will proceed with Gordon off the bench.
Hiatt said AOC officials had learned of Gordon’s decision on Thursday, but had no information as yet on how the vacancy would be covered.
The JCC had not released a hearing date for the commission to hear the allegations against Gordon as of Thursday night.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, email@example.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse