On Saturday, June 29, 2024, ABC News reported that Oklahoma Chief Justice John Kane IV has recommended the immediate suspension and eventual removal of Garfield County Associate District Judge Brian Lovell from office. This recommendation follows an investigation by the Council on Judicial Complaints into allegations of misconduct against Judge Lovell.

In the petition filed with the Oklahoma Court of the Judiciary, Chief Justice Kane outlined several allegations against Judge Lovell. It was alleged that Lovell engaged in sexual acts with two bailiffs of another judge at the courthouse during work hours and exchanged sexually explicit texts and images with one bailiff at the courthouse during work hours as well. Additionally, the petition claimed Judge Lovell neglected his duties, was corrupt, favored one particular attorney, and improperly sealed a case assigned to another judge.

Chief Justice Kane asserted that Judge Lovell’s actions demonstrated a lack of respect for his position as a judge and undermined public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. If the allegations prove to be true, Kane argued that Lovell is unfit to serve as a judge due to his pattern of misconduct and dishonesty. The Court of the Judiciary will meet on July 2nd to discuss the case against Judge Lovell, with the first hearing scheduled for July 30th.

Judge Lovell’s attorney, Stephen Jones, refuted the allegations, calling the petition an attempt to “humiliate and embarrass” his client. Jones claimed that neither he nor Judge Lovell were notified about the petition or given a chance to respond. He also said his absence at a prior hearing in March was due to hospitalization and that the judicial council was aware of this fact.

In addition to the misconduct allegations, Judge Lovell is facing criminal charges for allegedly shooting at vehicles in Austin, Texas in September 2023 and at his brother-in-law’s home in Bison, Oklahoma in February 2024. His pre-trial hearing for the Texas case is scheduled for July. Judge Lovell has not presided over any cases since his arrest in Austin.

 

 

Source: ABC News