Thursday, January 14, 2010

San Diego County judge admonished for abuse of office

San Diego County judge admonished for abuse of office
Commission says Judge Robert C. Coates previously in trouble for same behavior
North County Times
December 2, 2009

The body that oversees the performance and behavior of judges announced Wednesday that it has publicly admonished San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert C. Coates for his "repeated refusal" to not use his office to advance the personal interests of himself and others.

"Judge Coates has persisted in a pattern of abuse of the prestige of his judicial office and misuse of court resources in connection with personal and non-court matters," the Commission for Judicial Performance said in a press release.

The commission said Coates previously has been disciplined by the commission for similar conduct, and that he had been ordered by his presiding judges to cease such conduct. He had also been warned by the California Judges Association Ethics Committee to avoid such conduct, the commission said.

"Judge Coates' recalcitrance manifests indifference toward the erosion of public confidence in the judiciary that results from irresponsible behavior by judges," the commission said.

The statewide commission is composed of three judges, two lawyers, and six public members. The chairperson is the Hon. Judith D. McConnell of 4th District Court of Appeal, based in San Diego.

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