On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission released a copy of the Order of Suspension against Judge Ann Ruttle, District Judge of the 16th District of Kentucky.
The case is entitled “In Re the Matter of Ann Ruttle”
The charges cited SCR 4.300 and the Kentucky Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 1. Rule 1.1, 1.2, Canon 2. Rule 2.2, 2.2(B), which require:
A judge to comply with the law;
A judge to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
A judge to uphold and apply the law, and to perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.
A judge to perform the duties of judicial office, including administrative duties, without bias or prejudice.
A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently.
A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, court staff, officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.
The case was brought about from her conduct in Commonwealth v. Comer dated November 10, 2022, in which she allegedly did not apply the law concerning the appointment of counsel for the indigent, even if defendant Cromer at the time of her arraignment, requested for an appointed counsel as she could not afford an attorney. Judge Ruttle informed Cromer to return at the pre-trial conference with proof of income, and again denied Cromer’s request, saying that Cromer do not qualify for the public defender.
On December 16, 2022, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission denied Judge Ruttle’s Motion for Oral Hearing on the Motion to dismiss. According to the Commission, the respondent was wrong when she stated that “It is evident that the Chairperson of the commission acted unilaterally without input from any of the commission.” Moreover, the Commission assured that the respondent’s due process rights were not violated by consideration of her motion without a hearing, as the Commission duly considered her position.
Therefore, the court suspended Judge Ruttle from her duties as District Court Judge without pay from May 5, 2023, to May 18, 2023. The judge is also ordered to stop using her judicial office and turn in any access passes, keys, or credentials while the suspension is in effect.
The Judge earned a law degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1984.
The Judge’s Courtroom is at the Justice Center, 230 Madison Avenue, Covington, Kentucky, and can be reached at 859-292-6576. The respondent’s bio can be found on Ballotpedia.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.