Where applicable, the following public
cases may include Commission decisions, statements of charges, answers
to statements of charges, exhibits, and/or supreme court decisions. These
documents are available for download as Adobe Acrobat PDF files.
In re the Honorable John V. Lyman
|CJC No. 6527-F-152
July 8, 2011
From an agreed statement of facts, the Commission found that Judge John Lyman of the Tenino and Tumwater Municipal Courts violated Canons 1 and 2(A) of the Code of Judicial when he drove under the influence of alcohol, hit an unattended vehicle and left without notifying the owner thereof of the damage. The judge was charged with hit and run of an unattended vehicle and DUI and entered a deferred prosecution in Tumwater Municipal Court (before a visiting judge) to resolve those charges.
The Commission reprimanded Judge Lyman who also agreed, among other things, to comply with all conditions of the Municipal Court order granting deferred prosecution of the matter, to recuse himself on timely request of litigants from DUI and hit-and-run matters, and to make a number of presentations related to his conduct to the public and to judicial associations.
Stipulation, Agreement and Order of Reprimand filed 7/8/2011.
In re the Honorable Stephen R. Shelton
|CJC No. 6284-F-148
July 8, 2011
From an agreed statement of facts, the Commission found that Puyallup Municipal Court Judge Stephen Shelton violated Canons 1, 2(A), and 3(A)(1) of the Code of Judicial when he summarily incarcerated an alleged domestic violence victim overnight as a contempt sanction, without authority and contrary to law. The alleged crime victim had submitted a second statement to the police recanting her original statement, and the judge summarily had her held in jail overnight after he read the second statement during the defendant's arraignment. Judge Shelton agreed that the reasoning he used at the time was not correct, and that there was no justification for failing to accord the alleged crime victim the benefit of due process required by law. The Commission reprimanded Judge Shelton and ordered him to promptly read and familiarize himself with the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Shelton further agreed, and the Commission ordered, that he will satisfactorily complete additional training focused on issues of domestic violence awareness/prevention approved in advance.
Certificate of Completion and Order filed 10/5/2012
Stipulation, Agreement and Order of Reprimand filed 7/8/2011
Second Amended Notice of Fact Finding Hearing filed 5/17/2011
Answer to Statement of Charges filed 12/30/2010
Statement of Charges filed 12/10/2010
In re the Honorable Jerry A. Votendahl
|CJC No. 6517-F-151
April 22, 2011
From an agreed statement of facts, the Commission found that retired Walla Walla County District Court Judge Jerry Votendahl violated Canons 1, 2(B), and 7(A)(1)(b) of the Code of Judicial Conduct when he wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the local newspaper, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, endorsing a nonjudicial candidate for public office. Canon 7(A)(1)(b) of the Code prohibits judges from "publicly endors[ing] a nonjudicial candidate for public office" and from "lend[ing] the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of the judge or others." Former Judge Votendahl was admonished.
Stipulation, Agreement and Order of Admonishment filed 4/22/2011
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