||Patrick R. Burns
||Auburn Municipal Court
||Method of Resolution
||1, 2(A), 3(A)(3), 3(A)(5)
||From an agreed statement of facts, the Commission determined that Auburn Municipal Court Judge Patrick R. Burns violated Canons 1 2(A), 3(A)(3) and 3(A)(5) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by, over a period of several years, writing "NTG" on the bottom of hundreds of defendantsí judgment and sentence forms when he imposed sentences. He stated the initials meant "Note This Guy (or Gal)" and that they were used to remind him of which cases he believed deserved closer scrutiny if he had to review that personís sentence in the future. He acknowledged, however, that he may have told persons or given the impression to others that, and acknowledged it was widely rumored that, "NTG" meant "Nail This Guy (or Gal)." Although objective evidence did not establish that Judge Burns was actually biased or prejudiced against any particular defendant, he acknowledged his use of "NTG" created that appearance and that undermined public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Judge Burnsí misconduct was aggravated by his not being forthright with the Commission and by providing evasive responses to the Commission when asked to explain his conduct. The Commission reprimanded Judge Burns and required him to undertake ethics training. |
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* The Commission's imposition of discipline is not always the final determination of a matter.
A judicial officer may appeal a Commission disciplinary decision de novo to the Supreme Court
within 30 days of the decision. If the Commission recommends the judicial officer be suspended
or removed, the matter must be reviewed by the Supreme Court. If a Supreme Court decision exists,
it will be found in the "Available Documents" section for each complaint.