Jefferson County judge faces rare Court of the Judiciary trial - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jefferson County judge faces rare Court of the Judiciary trial

Posted: Updated:
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Residents react to missing machete man

    Residents react to missing machete man

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-04-23 11:45:03 GMT
    POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Police are still searching for a possibly armed suspect, 26-year-old Jeffrey Wegener. Wegener stole an Oregon County Sheriff Department deputy's truck Sunday night and drove it
    POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Police are still searching for a possibly armed suspect, 26-year-old Jeffrey Wegener. Wegener stole an Oregon County Sheriff Department deputy's truck Sunday night and drove it
  • Missouri exceeding target for reducing energy use

    Missouri exceeding target for reducing energy use

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:17 AM EDT2014-04-23 09:17:20 GMT
    Gov. Jay Nixon's administration says it has exceeded a goal to reduce Missouri's energy consumption.
    Gov. Jay Nixon's administration says it has exceeded a goal to reduce Missouri's energy consumption.
  • Arch project hurting some businesses

    Arch project hurting some businesses

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 09:15:18 GMT
    Sales for some business in the Laclede's Landing area of the St. Louis riverfront are down - way down - and merchants are blaming construction.
    Sales for some business in the Laclede's Landing area of the St. Louis riverfront are down - way down - and merchants are blaming construction.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A judge finds herself on the other side of the bench and her job may be on the line. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Dorothea Batiste faces a rare trial next week before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

[DOCUMENT: Amended Complaint against Judge Dorothea Batiste (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: Judge Dorothea Batiste's Answer to Complaint (.pdf)]

She's accused of overstepping her bounds by ordering excessive jail time for those in contempt of court. In some cases, the Judicial Inquiry Commission charged, people were jailed without a hearing first.

"This complaint is based upon Judge Batiste's violation of Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics through her repeated failure in 2011 and 2012 to comply with Alabama and federal law regarding her exercise of contempt power," the Commission said in its complaint.

But it is Batiste who feels she is being targeted because of the fact she is a "black female Republican."

"I have known throughout all of this, people were going off into conference rooms, meeting together after hearings, coming up with strategies with how to remove me," Batiste said.

Batiste took office in 2011. She said it didn't take long for problems to arise with the presiding judge. She claims the judge harassed her racially and sexually. She also claims he tried to influence the outcome of certain cases.

She said she complained to state officials.

"As that got back to the presiding judge, and the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, which we think we acting as his agent, then certainly the heat was turned up on her greatly," said Julian McPhillips, Batiste's attorney.The presiding judge has since retired. The court ruled those harassment claims will not be factor during the trial, which begins on Monday.

The Judicial Inquiry Commission filed its initial complaint in April. Batiste has been off the bench since then.

The Commission's executive director declined to comment on the case until its conclusion. Speaking generally, she said the intent of the Court of the Judiciary is not to punish the judge, but to preserve the integrity of the judiciary.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.