Kentucky judge ordered removed from bench for abuse of power

Published 5:38 am Monday, April 25, 2022

A Kentucky judge was ordered to be removed from the bench on Friday for abusing her position, in particular attempting to influence criminal cases involving her adult son.

The Judicial Conduct Commission voted unanimously to permanently remove Daviess Family Judge Julie Hawes Gordon, writing that she abused her position “over an extended period of time and over her entire tenure as judge,” The Messenger-Inqurer reported.

The ruling goes into effect 10 days from Friday, unless Gordon files an appeal. Gordon’s attorney said on Friday they are reviewing the ruling.

Among the findings, the conduct commission panel said Gordon had tried to arrange for the release of her son, Dalton Gordon, and tried to influence both the judge and prosecutor in his case to get the outcomes she wanted. Commissioners also found Gordon had used her position to get special visitation with her son while he was incarcerated in the Daviess County Detention Center and had appointed her son’s defense attorney as a paid guardian ad litem in family court where she presided.

Outside of the abuses involving her son’s criminal case, the commission found that Gordon retaliated against social workers in her courtroom and was untruthful with the Judicial Conduct Commission.

“There is no doubt that she has brought the integrity and respect for the judiciary within Daviess County into disrepute,” Commission Chairman Carroll “Trip” Redford III wrote.