On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, the North Coast Journal reported that former Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Greg Kreis resolved the ethics complaint against him by agreeing to be publicly censured and barred from future judicial service.

Judge Kreis faced 17 charges of violating judicial ethics codes from the California Commission on Judicial Performance related to his failure to disclose relationships with attorneys and parties that appeared before him in court. The allegations stemmed from 44 cases over which Kreis presided during his time on the bench.

In a legal stipulation finalized on May 1, 2024, Judge Kreis admitted to 68 specific instances of misconduct described in the ethics complaint, including lack of disclosure that created an appearance of bias. However, he did not acknowledge the most severe accusations against him involving offensive remarks, substance abuse, and sexual misconduct.

Some of the admitted misconduct involved Kreis being discourteous, inappropriate, and arbitrary in his treatment of litigants and attorneys in court proceedings. He also acknowledged making false statements and abusing his judicial authority on certain occasions. Previously in 2018, Kreis received a letter of advisory from the Commission regarding disrespectful comments made about a criminal defendant during sentencing.

As part of the agreement, Judge Kreis resigned from his position effective May 27, 2024. He also accepted a public censure and pledged never to seek or hold judicial office again in the future. This sanction effectively removes Kreis from the bench without the need for formal proceedings that could have resulted in his removal through a disciplinary hearing process.

The stipulation resolution was seen as an efficient way to enforce high ethical standards and maintain confidence in the judiciary system. It will avoid further delays that a hearing may have caused. Judge Kreis’ admissions substantiated the disciplinary measures taken against him by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

 

 

Source: North Coast Journal