The Judicial Conduct Commission’s decision to remove James T. Jameson, Circuit Court Judge for the 42nd Judicial Circuit encompassing Marshall and Calloway Counties, from his current office and bar him from re-election, has been challenged by the Supreme Court of Kentucky in an Order entered on June 15, 2023, and raised concerns about the sufficiency of the Commission’s findings.
The case is entitled “James T. Jameson v. Kentucky Judicial Commission” with case no. 2022-SC-0496-RR.
In an Amended Notice of Formal Proceedings and Charges, the Commission, based on multiple complaints of misconduct and subsequent related hearings, alleged Judge Jameson of lack of judicial temperament, misuse of contempt power, violations of due process, abuse of judicial authority, and improper implementation and administration of ankle monitors and processes. Judge Jameson was further alleged of “bid rigging,” obstruction of justice, misuse, and abuse of power, impropriety, improper exercise of influence, retaliation, and lack of candor to the relevant tribunals.
In the 40-page Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Final Order, the Commission concluded that Judge Jameson is guilty of judicial misconduct on all seven counts, ruled against him and ordered his removal from his current office, and further imposed a ban on his re-election to his position.
However, upon reviewing the case, the Court expressed reservations about the adequacy of the findings presented by the Commission.
The Court also voiced concerns about the Commission’s failure to connect its interpretations to specific testimonies or parts of exhibits. Witness names and documents were often listed as supporting points without providing further clarification. Moreover, the Commission refrained from making credibility determinations regarding the testimonies presented during the Temporary Suspension Hearing or Final Hearing.
Consequently, the Court has ordered a remand of the case to the Commission and the latter was directed to provide supplemental Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law until July 28, 2023.
Judge Jameson and the Commission will have the opportunity to file a supplemental brief addressing any additional issues raised by the Commission’s supplemental findings. These briefs must be filed by August 28, 2023, and should not exceed 8,750 words or 20 typewritten pages.
Judge James T. Jameson earned a law degree from Northern Kentucky University – Salmon P. Chase College of Law. His info can be found on LinkedIn.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.