Judge Halverson Legal Troubles

[Follow-up]

Judge Elizabeth Halverson

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Elizabeth LaMacchia, who was Elizabeth Halverson in January 2007 when she was elected and sworn in to a newly created judicial post, is shown in this 2008 photo .
Photo: Jacob Kepler

The formal disciplinary hearing of Judge Elizabeth Halverson concluded last week with testimony from witnesses for Halverson. However, the completion of the hearing came on the heels of Halverson’s loss in the primary election August 12—she came in a distant third to Stephanie Miley and Jason Landess, who will compete in the general election. Halverson is still the judge of District Court Department 23 until the end of the year.

Halverson was elected in November 2006 and began her term in January 2007. Shortly thereafter, accusations of misconduct began brewing. By spring of 2007, complaints that Halverson fell asleep on the bench and made her bailiff rub her feet and fetch her lunch, among other conduct violations, hit the media, and Halverson was suspended with pay in July 2007.

For a year, she has wrangled with the judicial community about whether she is unfit for the bench or whether, perhaps, she has been discriminated against: Halverson weighs more than 400 pounds and gets around in a scooter (see “The trials of Judge Halverson” from last week’s issue).

After it receives final arguments from both sides, the Judicial Disciplinary Commission is expected to deliver its judgment in a couple of weeks. The rest of the world, via CNN’s live broadcasts and TruTV’s coverage, has probably already weighed in.

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