CJC No. 7985-F-168
July 15, 2016
From an agreed statement of facts, Grant County Superior Court Commissioner Pro Tem Douglas G. Anderson stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by creating the appearance of bias in favor of a litigant. Commissioner Anderson met privately with the litigant’s father, a retired superior court judge, in advance of a scheduled hearing and failed to disclose that contact. He then allowed the retired judge to make and argue a motion during the hearing, even though he was neither a currently licensed attorney nor a party to the proceeding. Commissioner Anderson then granted the father's motion to void a valid court order that had been issued by a superior court judge. The commissioner had no legal authority to void the order. At the least, this conduct created the appearance of favoritism and nepotism. The Commission censured Commissioner Anderson and ordered him to promptly read the Code and undertake training focused on due process rights.
CJC No. 8080-F-169
July 15, 2016
From an agreed statement of facts, Whatcom County District Court Commissioner Anthony S. Parise stipulated that he violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.2 and 2.6(A)) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by denying a defendant the right to testify in his own defense when, for religious reasons, the defendant objected to raising his hand to be sworn in. His actions deprived a litigant of his right to testify in his own defense and infringed upon his religious freedom. The Commission admonished Commissioner Parise and ordered him to promptly read the Code.
CJC No. 8088-F-170
July 15, 2016
From an agreed statement of facts, Stevens County District Court Judge Gina A. Tveit stipulated that she violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 4 (Rule 4.2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by failing to comply with three different provisions of state campaign reporting laws; by submitting several financial reports late, and by using the wrong (non-electronic) method of reporting during her 2014 judicial campaign for reelection. The Commission admonished Judge Tveit and ordered her to promptly read the Code.
CJC No. 7707-F-167
March 4, 2016
From an agreed statement of facts, King County Superior Court Commissioner Bonnie Canada-Thurston stipulated that she violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rules 2.6(A) and 2.8(B)) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by failing to treat all individuals appearing before her with patience, courtesy and respect and regularly interrupting litigants and attorneys and addressing them in an unduly confrontational, loud and harsh manner. Commissioner Canada-Thurston was previously admonished by the Commission for similar behavior in 2005. (See CJC No. 4389-F-120.) The Commission reprimanded Commissioner Canada-Thurston and required her to participate in ethics training and behavioral coaching approved in advance by the Commission Chair.