On Thursday, April 4, 2024, the Times Standard reported that the California Commission on Judicial Performance had alleged two additional ethics violations against Judge Gregory Kreis. This brought the total number of counts against him to 21.

The new allegations claimed that Judge Kreis had lied during a debate on local radio station KMUD. When asked if he had ever been investigated by a state entity such as the bar, Kreis stated that he had never been disciplined. However, the Commission alleged that Kreis had in fact been disciplined by them on December 14, 2018. They also accused him of making misleading statements, with a reckless disregard for the truth, by leaving a link to the debate video on his reelection website until after the primary election.

The other new count involved a remark Judge Kreis allegedly made during a family law hearing in July 2022. According to the Commission, Kreis commented that the level of litigation between the parties implied they must really like each other and should get back together. The Commission argued this flippant statement violated judicial conduct canons.

Judge Kreis’ attorney, James Murphy, stated that his client denies any wrongdoing and would be filing a response to the amended accusations by the April 12th deadline. Murphy criticized the Commission, arguing they improperly interfered with and manipulated the local election to cost Kreis his seat. However, he declined to provide specifics to the Times Standard on why he believes the Commission sought to disrupt the vote.

Based on the final election report from Humboldt County, Judge Kreis lost the primary with 35.62% of the vote to April Van Dyke’s 61.09%. Jessica Watson, who had entered the race late in response to the allegations against Kreis, received 3.29% as a write-in candidate.

The case will now proceed to an administrative law judge to determine if clear and convincing evidence supports sanctioning Judge Kreis on the various charges. A hearing is scheduled for June in San Francisco.



Source: Times Standard