On Monday, February 12, 2024, The Denver Post reported that Judge D. Brett Woods had retired from his position as presiding judge of Denver’s juvenile court amid an ongoing investigation into his conduct by the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline.

Judge Woods had been suspended without pay since December 21, 2023, as the commission began investigating proceedings related to unspecified allegations about his conduct. However, details about what prompted the investigation were not provided due to confidentiality.

On February 9, Judge Woods sent a letter to Chief Justice Brian Boatright of the Colorado Supreme Court informing him of his decision to retire from his post. When reached for comment, Woods stated that he did not want to discuss the investigation further.

A special master had previously been appointed on December 21st to oversee the proceedings against Judge Woods. However, the special master was discharged from the case on January 18th, though Woods’ suspension remained in place until his retirement.

Judge Woods became a district court judge in 2007 after being appointed by then-Governor Bill Ritter, making him Colorado’s first openly gay district court judge. He had served as the presiding judge of Denver’s juvenile court since 2014.

The report also noted that in 2022, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Woods violated a mother’s right to a jury trial in a child welfare case when he dismissed the jury after she was late to a hearing. According to the article, Judge Woods’ performance evaluations from attorneys and judges had also shown him scoring below average in all categories that year.

Going forward, a judicial nominating commission will meet next month to select a replacement for Judge Woods through nomination to be appointed by the Governor.

 

 

Source: The Denver Post