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State of Washington

Activity - Public Actions 2018



Public actions are cases that have reached a conclusion. The Commisson posts the most pertinent documents for each case on this website, but other public document may exist and are available upon request.

To view public cases that are currently open, see the Open Cases section of this website.

You may also search for cases against an individual judge.

Cases closed in the year

In re the Honorable Mary Yu

CJC No. 8960-F-183

December 7, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu stipulated that she violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.3) and Canon 3 (Rule 3.7(B)) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Justice Yu violated the Code by making two Facebook posts which solicited funds for charitable organizations. The Commission admonished Justice Yu.

In re the Honorable Daniel Kathren

CJC No. 8895-F-181

December 7, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Benton County District Court Judge Daniel Kathren stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.3(B) and 2.8(B)) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Kathren violated the Code by making an inappropriate and offensive comment of a sexual nature to a subordinate court employee. The Commission admonished Judge Kathren and ordered him to complete ethics training focused on appropriate demeanor and read the Code.

In re the Honorable Terry M. Tanner

CJC No. 8889-F-180

December 7, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Benton County District Court Judge Terry Tanner stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Judge Tanner was arrested on suspicion of DUI and pleaded guilty on April 13, 2018. Judge Tanner self-reported his violation to the Commission and fully cooperated with the investigation. The Commission reprimanded Judge Tanner and ordered him to comply with the terms of his sentence, participate in five public speaking engagements related to his misconduct and promptly read the Code.

In re the Honorable David A. Svaren

CJC No. 8348-F-182

December 7, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Skagit County Superior Court Judge David A. Svaren stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.3) and Canon 3 (Rule 3.7(B)) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Svaren violated the Code by making a Facebook post which solicited funds for a charitable organization. The Commission admonished Judge Svaren and ordered him to read the Code.

In re the Honorable Leonid Ponomarchuk

CJC No. 8838-F-179

July 20, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, King County Superior Court Commissioner Leonid Ponomarchuk stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rule 2.8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Commissioner Ponomarchuk violated the Code by ordering a defendant to “tattoo” his next court date on his arm with a pen. The Commission admonished Commissioner Ponomarchuk and ordered him to complete ethics training focused on appropriate courtroom demeanor and read the Code.

In re the Honorable Joseph Wilson

CJC No. 8662-F-178

May 11, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Wilson stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.2, 2.3, 2.6 and 2.8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Wilson violated the Code by addressing a defendant in his courtroom in a disparaging and confrontational manner, referring to him as "an animal," and refusing to allow the defendant to speak. The Commission admonished Judge Wilson and ordered him to complete ethics training focused on appropriate courtroom demeanor and read the Code.

In re the Honorable Kathleen Hitchcock

CJC No. 8460-F-177

May 11, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, former Granger Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Hitchcock stipulated that she failed to comply with the remedial terms of the stipulation in CJC No. 7377-F-160. Respondent is no longer serving as a judicial officer and agreed that she will not serve in any future judicial position without the Commission`s approval. The Commission dismissed this matter.

In re the Honorable Joely O'Rourke

CJC No. 8521-F-175

March 9, 2018

From an agreed statement of facts, Lewis County Superior Court Judge Joely A. O'Rourke stipulated that she violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.2 and 2.11(A)(6)(a) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge O'Rourke violated the Code by presiding over a case in which she had previously served as the defendant's attorney and making comments attesting to the defendant's character which may have reasonably given the impression that she was not impartial in the matter. The Commission admonished Judge O'Rourke and ordered her to promptly read the Code.