CJC No. 9848-F-191
April 23, 2021
From an agreed statement of facts, Cowlitz County District Court Judge Debra Burchett stipulated that she violated Canon 1, Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, and Canon 2, Rules 2.2, 2.5(A), 2.6(A) and 2.9(C), of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Burchett violated the Code by failing to properly advise criminal defendants of their constitutional rights at probation review hearings; by engaging in an ex parte investigation of a probation matter; by eliciting statements against interest from criminal defendants; by recommending defendants use specific businesses; by presiding over cases in which a disqualification had previously been filed; and by failing to determine who was attempting to appear in court via Zoom, thereby not ensuring their right to be heard. The Commission reprimanded Judge Burchett and ordered her to complete four hours of ethics training, continue to work with a mentor judge and promptly read the Code.
CJC No. 9608-F-189
February 5, 2021
The Commission conducted a public hearing on allegations that Judge David Keenan of the King County Superior Court violated Canon 1, Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 by appearing in a bus advertisement for North Seattle College which used his judicial title. The Commission found that he created the appearance of impropriety by approving language in the ad which could lead a reasonable person to conclude he lacked impartiality. The Commission also found that by allowing the ad to use his title and photograph, he abused the prestige of judicial office to promote the college and advance its economic interests. The Commission admonished Judge Keenan.