On Wednesday, February 14, 2024, Rolling Stone reported that Judge Greg Kreis of Humboldt County Superior Court in Northern California had been accused of serious misconduct in a complaint filed by the state’s Commission on Judicial Performance.

The complaint against Judge Kreis alleges numerous incidents of inappropriate and unethical behavior both before and during his time serving on the bench since 2017. Some of the more egregious accusations include that at a social event in 2019, Judge Kreis became intoxicated on a boat and repeatedly referred to a public defender using an antisemitic slur before shoving the individual into the water while fully clothed. At the same event, the complaint claims Judge Kreis acted in a sexually suggestive manner toward the wife of another public defender in front of her child.

Additionally, the complaint accuses Judge Kreis of inappropriate conduct at private parties prior to taking the bench. In one instance at a friend’s home in approximately 2015, the report states that Judge Kreis exposed himself to the sleeping homeowner in an attempt to wake her. Furthermore, the Commission alleges Judge Kreis frequently used cocaine from 2013 to 2017, including one occasion where he purportedly drove others to purchase drugs while under the influence.

The complaint also lists Judge Kreis’s alleged ongoing inappropriate behavior once taking the bench. This includes maintaining personal relationships with attorneys appearing before him without proper recusal or disclosure. Moreover, the report claims Judge Kreis engaged in an undisclosed romantic affair with a colleague on the court, and later made false statements about a clerk who discussed the relationship.

If the numerous accusations are substantiated, they could constitute willful misconduct in office and behaviors prejudicing the fair administration of justice, according to the Commission. Judge Kreis has denied the claims as “salacious and false,” suggesting they were timed related to his reelection campaign. He will have until February 20th to formally respond to the complaint, which may result in sanctions up to removal from the bench.

 

 

Source: Rolling Stone