On Sunday, April 14, 2024, Aol reported that a former Kentucky judge was publicly reprimanded by the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission over inappropriate text messages he exchanged with a court employee.

Brian Privett – who served as circuit judge in Scott, Woodford, and Bourbon counties for more than three years before resigning in January – sent flirtatious and sexually suggestive messages to a female staff member that did not directly work under his supervision back in 2018. The texts included observations about her physical appearance and questions about her enjoyment of proceedings while he was on the bench overseeing cases.

While the commission’s public order did not reproduce the text messages, it was noted one sent by Privett asked “Just noticed your long legs back there. Enjoying court?” The Georgetown News-Graphic newspaper later obtained and published some of the alleged messages from an unnamed source.

During the preliminary investigation, Privett admitted to sending inappropriate texts that hurt his family and those close to him. He expressed remorse and apologized for any distress caused. The panel determined Privett’s conduct violated judicial ethics rules requiring independence, integrity, and impartiality to promote public trust, as well as prohibitions against using his position for personal interests.

Though his resignation in January was found to be unrelated to the misconduct investigation, Privett agreed to accept the public reprimand handed down last week. He is now working in substance abuse treatment. The former judge declined to comment on the sanctions.

The reprimand comes after Privett accused the Commonwealth’s Attorney of potential issues in 2021, but that complaint did not lead to criminal charges. With the Judicial Conduct Commission’s process complete, Privett will have this official mark on his record over the texting incident from his time on the bench in Kentucky.



Source: Aol