The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished Virginia M. Amato, a judge in the King County District Court, on Friday, June 24, 2022. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of The Honorable Virginia M. Amato’ with case number #10627-F-199.

The judge was charged with violating Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rule 2.8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires:

Judges to uphold the integrity of the judiciary by avoiding impropriety and the appearance of impropriety and by acting at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary.

Judges to maintain appropriate courtroom decorum, and be patient, dignified, and courteous to all persons with whom they deal in their official capacity.

The judicial canons can be found here.

The order reads:

“From an agreed statement of facts, King County District Court Judge Virginia M. Amato stipulated that she violated Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2) and Canon 2 (Rule 2.8) of the Code of Judicial Conduct by telling a criminal defendant at his arraignment hearing that he was ‘setting yourself up to be Bubba’s new best girlfriend at the state penitentiary,’ and adding ‘the folks at the penitentiary have mothers and sisters and nieces and cousins that they do not want someone out there abusing, and they will take that out on you.’ The Commission admonished Judge Amato and ordered her to participate in one hour of ethics training focusing on appropriate courtroom demeanor.”

The Judge is in Courtroom 1A, 401 4th Ave N in Kent, and can be reached at 206-477-2970

A copy of the original filing can be found here.