New rule could make disciplined judge pay costs of probe
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana judges facing discipline from the state’s Supreme Court could be made to pay various costs arising from investigations into their conduct, including the cost of installing temporary judges to replace them if they are suspended, under new rules announced this week.
The high court’s seven justices would decide whether, and how much, to charge the judge, based on recommendations from the state Judiciary Commission, the board appointed by the Supreme Court to review allegations of judicial misconduct.
The new rules also state that judges who retire or resign prior to the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings can be required by the Supreme Court to repay the costs incurred in the Judicial Commission’s investigation and litigation of the complaint.
“These changes ensure that judges who are convicted of crimes or who resign or retire in the late stages of judicial discipline proceedings, sometimes to avoid the imposition of public discipline by this Court, may be held accountable for the costs incurred as a result of their actions and that such costs are not ultimately borne by the taxpayers of this State,” Chief Justice John Weimer said in a Monday news release.
The rules also include procedures to make sure Judiciary Commission investigations involving “disabilities, impairments, or possible criminal conduct,” are handled quickly, saying the commission should try to make recommendations to the high court within a year of receiving a complaint.