Defends Self as A Witness
The beleaguered, almost newly-elected county judge who appeared to have gotten into trouble even before she took office in 2018 took the stand yesterday to testify during her ouster trial.
On Wednesday morning, Oklahoma County District Judge Kendra Coleman took the stand to defend herself in the third week of her removal trial.
The ouster trial was held by the Oklahoma Council on the Judiciary.
Wearing a yellow outfit, Judge Coleman addressed allegations of a biased ruling in favor of defense attorney Ed Blau, who donated to her campaign.
Mr. Blau was said by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to have held a fundraiser for then-candidate Coleman and had failed to report to the commission his contributions to her campaign.
He was the defense attorney of a defendant being tried for manslaughter in a trial in Judge Coleman’s courtroom before the prosecutor successfully got her removed from the case.
The prosecuting attorney said he believed Judge Coleman was showing favoritism to Mr. Blau’s client.
“Why on Earth would I rule in favor of Ed Blau because he gave me $500 in my campaign?” Judge Coleman said during her testimony.
She was at times emotional when asked about starting her campaign for judge.
Judge Coleman is accused of owing thousands in back taxes, not filing campaign records on time and making biased rulings in favor of campaign donors.
“What I want to be very clear about, and I was very clear there is,” she said Wednesday. “I don’t care how much you’ve given me, my rulings aren’t for sale.
“I’m not gonna favor anyone. That’s not why I took this job.”
Last September, it was learned that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater asked Judge Coleman to recuse herself from handling any criminal cases.
“Did you know on August 29th of 2019….did you know that David Prater filed a judicial complaint against you?” asked Joe White, Judge Coleman’s defense attorney.
“No, I didn’t,” Judge Coleman answered.
“Did DA Prater ever give you a copy of his complaint?” the attorney asked the judge.
“He did not,” Judge Coleman answered.
Wednesday’s testimony came a day after supporters of Judge Coleman took the stand in her defense, saying her actions are the same as any other judge.
“Did the state of Oklahoma express to you any concern about fairness from you?” Mr. White asked the judge.
“No,” Judge Coleman responded.