The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission punished another Northern Kentucky judge, according to court documents.
The commission suspended Kenton County District Court Judge Ann Ruttle without pay for seven days from April 15 to April 22. Ruttle violated three rules in the Code of Judicial Conduct for the way she handled court proceedings last summer, the commission wrote.
The Enquirer was unable to immediately reach Ruttle for comment.
Ruttle first won election as a judge in 1994. She is the Chief District Court Judge for Kenton County; there are two other regular District Court judges.
According to court documents she erred when she:
- Required defendants in criminal trials to file written demands for jury trials
- Made comments to Department of Public Advocacy attorneys that were “not patient, dignified, and courteous.”
- Suggested an unrepresented person enter into a plea agreement that “could be reasonably be perceived as coercive.”
There won’t be a suspension hearing or a months-long legal process like there was for former Kenton County Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry. Ruttle agreed to the suspension and waived formal proceedings, which is how judges are able to appeal the commission’s claims.
In 2020, the commission fired former Kenton County Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry. It found Gentry guilty of on 10 of 12 charges, which included accusations that she used sex, coercion and retaliation as tools in her judgeship.
Two complaints caused the commission to investigate Ruttle’s behavior.
During the suspension, Ruttle cannot use her judicial office and must turn in her secure courthouse access pass.
“In imposing this sanction, the commission duly considered the circumstances and impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that Judge Ruttle fully cooperated with the investigation and acknowledged her actions were inappropriate.”
Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter through the Report For America program. The Enquirer needs local donors to help fund her grant-funded position. If you want to support Julia’s work, you can donate to her Report For America position at this website or email her editor Carl Weiser at email@example.com to find out how you can help fund her work.
Do you know something she should know? Send her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @JFair_Reports.
Don’t miss any Northern Kentucky news and sign-up for the NKY.com newsletter here
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: NKY judge Ann Ruttle suspended without pay by Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission
Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 14:34:28 +0000