On Thursday, February 7, 2023, Retired Circuit Judge Steven King and the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a Joint Motion to Set Expedited Hearing with the Alabama Court of Judiciary. The grounds show that the interest of the administration of justice would best be served by an expeditious resolution of this Complaint, respondent waives his right to thirty days’ notice of date and time for hearing on the complaint and requests for a stay of the Court’s scheduling order.
The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Steven King’ with case number no. 63.
The allegations include violations of the Alabama Code of Judicial Ethics, including Canon 1, Canon 2A, Canon 2B, Canon 2.3, and Canon 2C. These ethics rules generally require:
A judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
A judge should participate in… maintaining… , and should himself ‘observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.
A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities.
A judge… should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
A judge should at all times maintain the decorum and temperance befitting his office.
A judge… should avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute.
A judge should not allow his family, social, political, or other relationships to influence his
judicial conduct or judgment.
A judge should not lend the prestige of his office to advance the private interests others.
The following are alleged and summarized from the filing.
On December 20, 2022, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against Judge King. He allegedly sent an anonymous letter criticizing language used by County Commissioner Dean Calvert in a hidden recording in 2020. The respondent was immediately suspended in accordance with Alabama law. If found guilty, Judge King could face a fine or lose his seat on the bench.
Then on January 23, 2023, the Circuit Judge of the Blount County of Alabama, Hon. Steven D. King filed an Answer to a complaint against him for violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics. A Zoom video conference hearing was held on January 26, 2023, in which the Court requested the parties to comply with the following scheduling order and amendments to the same will only be granted upon showing good cause.
- The Commission shall provide opposing counsel the names of all individuals who the Commission expects to call as witnesses by February 6, 2023
- Judge King shall provide the Commission the names of his potential witnesses by February 11, 2023
- Exchange copies of potential exhibits by March 24, 2023.
- Discovery shall be complete by March 24, 2023.
Judge King earned a law degree from Samford University in 1988. The Judge is in Courtroom 207, 220 Second Avenue East in Oneonta, and can be reached at (205) 625-4145.
The original filing can be found here.