On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, the West Virginia Record reported that the State Judicial Hearing Board has proposed that a second Eastern Panhandle family court judge receive a reprimand for breaching three rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
AbusiveDiscretion reported that the case against Stotler and another family court judge, Deanna Rock, relates to allegations that they violated the Code of Judicial Conduct by sending a letter to the state Supreme Court and other officials requesting an investigation into the conduct of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel regarding an investigation into the conduct of another family court judge, Louise Goldston. Goldston had been recommended for censure and a fine by Judicial Disciplinary Counsel Teresa Tarr and Deputy JDC Brian Lanham following an incident in which she stopped a court hearing and ordered the parties to meet at the home of a Raleigh County man involved in a post-divorce contempt proceeding.
The report from AbusiveDiscretion states:
“Stotler’s letter to then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and other officials criticized Tarr and Lanham, stating that the Supreme Court should fire the prosecutors from the state’s Judicial Disciplinary Counsel for their poor treatment of Goldston. Stotler accused the prosecutors of using intimidation and deception to force Goldston into making agreements during questioning by state officials. The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel later found those claims to be untrue.”
The West Virginia Record continued to state that according to the July 24 recommended decision from the JHB, Judge Glen R. Stotler has notified State Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Walker and Governor Jim Justice of his voluntary retirement and resignation at the end of 2023 due to medical reasons, conveyed through a letter dated July 18. Earlier in May, the JHB recommended similar disciplinary actions for Judge Deanna Rock, also from the same family court circuit, for comparable violations.
Stotler, who is 71 years old and paralyzed from the waist down, had previously requested to have his hearing held near his home in the Eastern Panhandle due to his medical condition, but the request was denied by JHB Presiding Judge Jack Alsop. Additionally, Stotler previously objected to the use of a hearing examiner instead of a full JHB hearing and raised concerns about the composition of the JHB lacking a family court judge among its members at the time, disqualifying himself as the family court judge representative on the board.
In his motion filed on April 5, Stotler expressed that the severity of the pressure sores has hindered his ability to fulfill his daily responsibilities as a judge in the courtroom. According to Judge Stotler’s attorney, “While Judge Stotler is hoping for a full recovery, during the last six months, he has been largely confined to his home and not able to move about, even with the use of a wheelchair, Judge Stotler would like to attend his hearing and to be able to participate in it in person. He is not able, however, to travel the 275 miles from Berkeley Springs to Charleston to do so, and he requests that the hearing be scheduled to be held in Morgan County where he resides.”
In lieu of the aforementioned misconduct, the state Judicial Hearing Board has recommended that Judge Glen R. Stotler be reprimanded. The board also suggested that Stotler pay the costs of his disciplinary proceedings.
Source: West Virginia Record