On Thursday, November 10, 2022, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded former 14th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Brian Privett over an alleged exchange of flirtatious text messages with a court employee.

The judge was charged with violating Rules 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 3.1 (c) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. which requires:

A judge to comply with the law, including the Code of Judicial Conduct.

A Judge to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary.

Prohibits judges from abusing the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others, or allow others to do so.

Prohibits a judge from participating in activities that would appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality when engaging in extrajudicial activities.

In the order, the Judicial Conduct Commission stated that it did a preliminary investigation that arose out of a complaint that Judge Privett exchanged flirtatious and sexual text messages in 2018 with a female court employee that he did not supervise.

According to the order, the texts involved multiple conversations including exchanges that occurred while Judge Privett was on the bench presiding over court proceedings.

On January 31, 2022, Judge Privett resigned as Circuit Judge but according to the Commission, the resignation was not connected to the alleged inappropriate exchanges between the judge and the employee.

The Commission concluded that Judge Privett committed misconduct in office and violated the above-mentioned rules.

The order states:

“Based upon the foregoing conduct, Judge Privett is hereby publicly reprimanded. In rendering its disposition, the Commission duly considered that the former judge fully cooperated in the investigation and agreed to accept this Public Reprimand.”

The Judge earned a law degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.