On Friday, December 1, 2023, The Spokesman-Review reported that the Idaho Judicial Council publicly reprimanded Kootenai County Magistrate Judge Clark A. Peterson. The council found that Judge Peterson improperly changed his clothes in his chambers on multiple occasions without securing the room.
The article stated that Judge Peterson has been on paid leave from his duties for over seven months for undisclosed “personnel issues.” During this time, other judicial officers have been assigned to handle Judge Peterson’s caseload. On November 30, 2023, the Judicial Council announced it had reprimanded Judge Peterson for his behavior with his consent. The council determined that failing to lock his chambers while changing violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.
However, the council did not provide any specifics on potential additional punishment for Judge Peterson. When contacted, the executive director of the council did not offer further comment on the situation. This is not the first time the 56-year-old judge has faced reprimand. In 2020, he was disciplined for incorrectly reporting his vacation and leave time and had to forfeit seven days of paid leave.
Judge Peterson also attracted controversy in 2013 when complaints emerged that his devotion to role-playing games was interfering with his work. The article notes he received a private reprimand from the council in 2015 related to this prior incident as well. It remained uncertain when or if Judge Peterson would return to his duties at the court in Coeur d’Alene, as he declined to provide any statement on the newest reprimand.
Source: The Spokesman-Review