Coleman Said to Oppress
Beleaguered Oklahoma County District Judge Kendra Coleman was suspended from her position with pay as she awaits an August trial regarding her conduct on the bench and criminal tax evasion charges.
Judge Coleman, 44, faces trial before a special court on accusations involving unpaid taxes, her 2018 campaign and her behavior in court.
She denied any wrongdoing.
The Court on the Judiciary could vote to remove her from office or impose lesser sanctions.
The trial is set for Aug. 31.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court last week sent the accusations to the special court for discipline.
A majority of justices also called for her immediate temporary suspension with pay until trial.
They warned “great and irreparable harm and injury” will likely occur if she is allowed to continue in her capacity.
A hearing on the suspension request had been set for July.
The Council on Judicial Complaints investigated the accusations and recommended her removal.
The council reported she “has exhibited a pattern of judicial excess and inappropriate behavior in the courthouse in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and constituting oppression in office and gross neglect of duty.”
The council also reported her conduct has worsened since the state Supreme Court put her on probation in December.
Among the 31 witnesses who could be called at trial to testify against her are former Oklahoma City Councilman Ronald “Skip” Kelly and former State Rep. Richard Morrissette.
The council reported they and two other attorneys “each detailed their inability to effectively present arguments on behalf of their clients” because of the judge’s demeanor.
With her suspension, other judges will take over hearing requests for victim protective order.
Among the accusations she faces, she is said to have regularly criticized, intimidated and humiliated those seeking victim protective orders.