On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission filed an Appellee’s Brief before the Kentucky Supreme Court requesting for the latter to affirm their Order against Judge James T. Jameson, a 42nd Circuit Court Judge in Kentucky.

The case is entitled “James T. Jameson v Kentucky Judicial Commission” with case no. 2022-SC-0496..

On October 7, 2022, in the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order of the Judicial Conduct Commission of Kentucky, it stated that the Commission received a series of charges alleging that the appellant, Judge Jameson engaged in numerous instances of Judicial Misconduct. In total, the Commission brought seven charges against Judge Jameson. Allegedly, Judge Jameson’s had an inappropriate level of involvement with the 42nd Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Board, a non-profit entity of his own creation. Through the said entity, the Appellant intended to accomplish of bringing an inpatient drug treatment facility to his circuit.

The filing states:

“The building of a treatment center was a dream of Judge Jameson 8 as well as a platform in his 2015 election campaign. The nonprofit entity created by Judge Jameson through his office was the 42nd Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Board (CCB), whose statutory genesis is KRS 196.725. KRS Chapter 196.700 et seq. , provides for Community Corrections Programs to be operated under the Department of Corrections, an executive branch agency within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The statutory scheme was designed for community corrections boards to apply for grants 9 from the Kentucky State Corrections Commission, again an executive branch agency. While judges are permitted to serve on CCBs, there is absolutely no statutory basis or legal authority for a judge to utilize the board as a mechanism to operate an ankle monitoring program from the judge’s office or otherwise utilize the board as a conduit for fundraising to build an inpatient drug treatment center. Such improper use of a CCB is clearly outside the scope of KRS 196.700 et seq. Therein lies the background for numerous violations of judicial Canons and applicable laws by Judge Jameson, while also misusing and abusing the prestige and power of his judicial office.”

On October 22, 22 two new charges were filed against Judge Jameson still in relation to using his position to exert pressure on attorneys and others to donate and support his political campaign, having a conflict of interest in relation to the ankle monitoring program he initiated, and retaliating against a Marshall County Sheriff’s Office employee by attempting to have the person fired or reassigned.

The filing continues:

“Upon learning that AOC instructed your judicial staff to disregard your demands, you again contacted your staff and, this time instructed them to send all documents they intended to produce to you for review before sending them to AOC. After this revised instruction, AOC was again forced to intervene and advise your judicial staff that they should once again disregard your unlawful instructions.”

Unsatisfied with the Order, Judge Jameson filed an Appeal to the Supreme Court, thus making him the appellant and the Judicial Commission the Appellee. In the current Appellee’s Brief, the latter enumerated the charges against Judge Jameson as follows; a) Judge Jameson formed, operated, and controlled the Community Corrections Board; b) Judge Jameson engaged in unacceptable courtroom practices; c) Judge Jameson used his of Judicial Power and Influence for Personal Gain; d) obstructed and impeded the JCC’s investigation and violated JCC Directives; e) engagement in Acts of retaliation. The Commission stated that Judge Jameson’s pattern of self-serving misconduct warrants removal.

The filing further states:

“Both in and out of the courtroom, Judge Jameson made it clear that he rules with an iron fist. Inside the courtroom, no one was safe from the threat of contempt, and criminal defendants were continuously subject to his ex-parte oversight and punishment via the CCB. Outside of the courtroom, Judge Jameson used his judicial influence to levy support for his campaign and his nonprofit, and he retaliated against any who did not fall in line with his objectives and desires. To top it off, when confronted with this evidence, Judge Jameson repeatedly shifted blame upon others and displayed a pattern of defiance to the relevant tribunals.”

The filing additionally notes:

“Equally problematic is Judge Jameson’s continued refusal to acknowledge wrong-doing. In addition to his testimony before the Commission, Judge Jameson “doubles down” in his Brief with excuses and denials that he has done anything wrong. See eg, Appellant’s Br. at 14 (“Judge Jameson believed, and still believes, that a sitting judge can also act as an officer for a nonprofit concerned with the administration of justice…”) (emphasis added). This pattern of misconduct, coupled with Judge Jameson’s steadfast refusal to accept responsibility for his actions, leaves no room to dispute the existence of good cause under Section 121 of the Kentucky Constitution to permanently remove him from his judicial office.”

In the conclusion of the Commission’s Brief, it requested, based on the factual allegations, that the Supreme Court affirms the Commission’s findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Final Order.

The Conclusion of the Brief states:

“For the reasons set forth herein, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission, respectfully requests that this Court AFFIRM the Commission’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Final Order.”

The Judge earned a law degree from Northern Kentucky University. His info can be found on Ballotpedia.org.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.