On Thursday, June 8, 2023, the Commission on Judicial Conduct for the State of Kansas issued its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Disposition concerning the case of Lisa D. Montgomery, a judicial candidate for the 14th Judicial District.

The case is styled “Inquiry Concerning Judicial Candidate Lisa D. Montgomery,” with case #2711.

Montgomery was charged with violating Rule 4.1 of Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which states that:

A judge or a judicial candidate shall not knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, make any false or misleading statement.

According to the court document, in 2022, Montgomery ran for district court judge while serving as Montgomery County Attorney. Chief Judge Gettler notified Montgomery of a new local rule regarding filing deadlines, and reminded them of an existing rule they hadn’t followed. Montgomery informed the defense bar about the policy change and addressed the Montgomery County Commissioners. An article titled “Disorder in the Court?” reported Montgomery’s statement about alleged complaints of a “hostile” working environment imposed by Judge Gettler.

A prehearing conference was held on March 3, 2023, before Hearing Panel B of the Commission. Respondent Montgomery appeared with her counsel, Amy E. Elliott, and Todd Thompson acted as the Examiner. Chair Sorensen issued pretrial orders, and a formal hearing was scheduled for May 12, 2023.

Thereafter, the parties filed joint stipulations outlining agreed-upon facts and exhibits on April 13, 2023.

The formal hearing took place on May 12, 2023, in Topeka, Kansas. After deliberations, the Panel made findings of fact based on clear and convincing evidence using the stipulated facts agreed upon by the parties.

Regarding conclusions of law, the majority of the panel finds that the formal complaint’s charge against the Respondent, stating that she made a misleading statement to the Montgomery County Commission using the term “hostile work environment” for her benefit, has been proven by clear and convincing evidence, and violated Rule 4.1 of Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Accordingly, the Hearing Panel, upon consideration of the findings of fact, and conclusions of law, and pursuant to the unanimous vote of the members participating in the formal hearing, ordered Montgomery to cease and desist from future activity in violation of the above-cited Canons.

Ms. Lisa D. Montgomery practices in Independence as the Montgomery County Attorney. She has been licensed in Kansas.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.