On Thursday, April 20, 2023, the Billing Gazette reported that a judicial disciplinary board is recommending the reprimand and suspension without pay for one month of Ray Dayton, judge for the 3rd District Court in Montana, for making sexual comments about a witness in a pending case.
According to the Judicial Standards Commission, the comments of Judge Dayton were made in the hallway of the Anaconda-Deer-Lodge County Courthouse wherein they were overheard by court employees. The Commission stated that the comments “were of a sexual nature” and an investigation determined that a violation of the Canons of Judicial Conduct was present.
In response to the said allegation, Judge Dayton acknowledged that his conduct violated the standards of judicial conduct and agreed with the recommended sanctions.
In a written statement, Judge Dayton stated, “This matter has to do with a comment that I made, in jest, in what I thought was a private conversation with a colleague, I was unaware that others were listening. The matter was reported to the powers that be who have decided to punish me. I have decided to accept their punishment. Otherwise, I will continue to endeavor to perform my duties to the best of my ability as I have during my forty-year career in law. I do not intend to comment on the matter further.”
Under the recommended sanctions, Judge Dayton would receive a public reprimand and be suspended without pay from May 13 to June 11. He also agreed not to discuss the matter with the complainant or any witnesses or do anything that could reasonably be viewed as retaliatory.
Source: Billing Gazette