On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Nola reported that Civil District Judge Jennifer Medley is facing misconduct charges from the Louisiana Judiciary Commission over her 2020 judicial campaign.

The commission alleges that Judge Medley engaged in “willful misconduct” during her campaign to unseat then-Civil District Judge Christopher Bruno. Medley benefited from backing by businessman Sidney Torres IV, who had lost a legal battle in Bruno’s courtroom. Two television attack ads produced by Torres’ company are at the center of the allegations against Medley.

One ad featured a woman claiming bias against her in Bruno’s court. She said Bruno did not find her credible in a rape allegation and treated her poorly. However, an oversight committee found no truth to the claims against Bruno. The commission says the statements in this ad were false and misleading.

Another ad accused Bruno of failing to pay child support for over a decade, calling him a “deadbeat dad.” Bruno obtained a court order preventing the ad from airing, but the commission alleges Medley made comments about it on social media in violation of that order. An appeals court upheld the ban, finding Medley knew or recklessly disregarded the ad’s falsity.

Additionally, the commission is accusing Medley of dishonesty regarding a $100,000 loan from Torres. Medley claimed it was for home improvements, but loaned $85,000 and $15,000 to her own campaign that same month. Her bank accounts did not show she had that amount for improvements. The commission alleges this circumvented campaign finance laws.

In her response, Medley denies any wrongdoing and notes she repaid the loan. She also points to inexperience in 2020 as her first campaign, as well as the commission’s delay in filing charges until January 2022. Medley will appear before a hearing officer in September to answer the four misconduct charges. If found guilty, discipline from censure to removal from office is possible. The commission operates secretly until charges are filed. Judge Bruno, now in private practice, hopes any discipline deters future misconduct but was unaware charges were still pending against Medley.

 

 

Source: Nola