The Paducah Sun reported that on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of suspending 42nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jamie Jameson with pay, following testimony that he pressured a lawyer practicing in his court to support his reelection campaign.

According to the report:

“Attorney Jeffrey Mando largely handled the case against Jameson, calling two witnesses — attorney Lisa DeRenard, who practices in Jameson’s circuit, which comprises Marshall and Calloway counties, and Marshall County Sheriff Eddie McGuire.”

DeRenard reportedly testified throughout the hearing that Judge Jameson repeatedly requested her to back his campaign for re-election against public defender Andrea Moore. DeRenard felt pressured to donate to his campaign, which she did multiple more times.

DeRenard further claimed that Judge Jameson “put her on the spot” by asking her to speak in favor of his candidacy at a fundraising event. Additionally, she said Jameson pressured her into filing a bar complaint against Amy Harwood-Jackson, a public defender who backs his rival.

McGuire testified regarding an incident in which Judge Jameson requested that he remove a courtroom deputy from the building after security footage of Jameson went viral. Jameson contended the deputy posed a security risk, though he mentioned in his text message to McGuire that he believed the deputy was acting in the interest of his opponent.

The panel also viewed a number of videos showing Judge Jameson’s courtroom demeanor and use of his contempt power.

The Paducah Sun reported that:

“Videos showed him holding the grandfather of a defendant in contempt after objecting to the sentence Jameson imposed, threatening a handcuffed deputy jailer with contempt over the jail not accepting an inmate who claimed she had been exposed to COVID-19 and said she had symptoms, having a heated exchange with prosecution and defense attorneys over what he saw as a failure to do due diligence in determining whether some plea agreements were legal, and holding another defendant in contempt for what was apparently minor behavior — though that defendant subsequently had a major outburst full of profanity and some threatening language.”

Judge Jameson presented character witnesses on his behalf, including local lawyers and a circuit clerk, who commended his conduct as professional and claimed he handled defendants, lawyers, and law enforcement with respect.

Judge Jameson also took the stand in his own defense, admitting that his behavior in the videos may have reflected a quick trigger or been the result of particularly stressful days in court, but he largely defended his actions as necessary to preserve courtroom decorum and send messages about unacceptable behavior.

Judge Jameson claimed after the hearing that he had anticipated being suspended but hadn’t anticipated a vote that was so close.

“This is, unfortunately, part of modern-day politics,” Jameson said, promising to “stay the course.”

The Judge earned a law degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Source: The Paducah Sun


Full story here