On January 23, 2023, the Circuit Judge of the Blount County of Alabama, Hon. Steven D. King filed an Answer to a Complaint against him for violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics. He filed the same before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Steven D. King” with case no. 63

On December 20, 2022, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against Judge King for alleged violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. Based on the complaint, Judge King sent an anonymous letter criticizing the language used by County Commissioner Dean Calvert in a hidden recording sometime in 2020. According to the complaint, the respondent’s conduct constituted impropriety. The judge also furthered the conduct through a letter that he issued to a Judge creating the false impression that he was not involved in authoring or sending the packages to several media outlets, Blount County Officials including himself. The suspension of the respondent after the complaint was issued in accordance with Alabama Law, and thus answer for the complaint was filed by Judge King.

In the said Answer to the Complaint, the respondent admitted some parts of the allegations but with some clarification.

The filing states:

“The allegations of paragraph 11 are admitted with the clarification that the purpose of the meeting between Judge King and the attorney referred to in this paragraph, Brad Green, was not to ask Mr. Green to mail the packages. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what Judge King and others considered to be the inadequate plans of the County Commission related to a possible new courthouse. Mr. Green was one of the few Blount County lawyers who had been asked to meet with the architects, and Judge King wanted to make sure that all members of the Bar who would be involved in the planning for a new courthouse were aware of all courthouses needs.”

The filing continues:

“The allegations of paragraph 13 are admitted with the clarification that Judge King was acting as a private citizen, and the note written to Judge Green was not on judicial stationery. There was nothing in or about the note that suggested that Judge King was a judge or that he was acting in a judicial capacity. The quote in paragraph 14 is accurate so that the allegation in this paragraph is admitted with the same clarification as set out in paragraph 13 above. With respect to paragraph, Judge King admits that some tensions may have arisen when on occasions as a private citizen and on other occasions as a member of the judiciary, he made his feelings and position known – most frequently to Judge Green – on a number of matters related to what Judge King believed to be the obligations of the County Commission.”

Judge King stated that the complaint by the JIC violates his rights under the first amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution of Alabama.

The Judge earned a law degree from Samford University in 1988.
The Judge is in Courtroom 207, 220 Second Avenue East in Oneonta, and can be reached at (205) 625-4145. His info can be found here.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.