On Thursday, May 9, 2024, Herald Net reported that David Ruzumna, who was serving as a substitute judge a couple of times a week in King and Snohomish counties, faces disciplinary action for forging an official document in an attempt at humor to get discounted parking rates.

According to the report, Ruzumna had an ongoing joke with the parking attendant at a garage near the King County Courthouse in Seattle, where he would show proof like pay stubs or his judicial robes that he was a county employee to get the $20 daily rate instead of the regular $30 rate. However, as a pro tem judge, Ruzumna was not actually entitled to the discounted price.

In February 2023, Ruzumna forged a document with his name and judicial title that was stamped with seals from multiple King County District Court judges, including a purported signature from another judge. He presented this fake document to the parking attendant while claiming access to the seals and stamps as a joke about proving his employment. However, the attendant remained unswayed and continued charging the full rate as usual.

The parking attendant reported the incident to his manager, who then notified the court. An investigation found Ruzumna did not have authorization to use the seals or stamp from another judge. He was charged with violating the Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits abuse of power for financial gain or appearing to act improperly.

If found at fault, Ruzumna could face sanctions from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, ranging from a recommendation for suspension or removal by the Supreme Court. He has since resigned his position in King County but remains active as a pro tem judge in Snohomish County district courts. Ruzumna stated it was meant as a foolish joke and bad attempt at humor, rather than dishonesty. However, he acknowledges it created an improper appearance without context.



Source: Herald Net