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Western Ky. judge facing charges from state judicial conduct commission

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This story has been updated.

Formal proceedings and charges against 42nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge James T. “Jamie” Jameson – who presides over Calloway and Marshall counties – were detailed in a 254-page document released by the Judicial Conduct Commission of Kentucky Thursday.

The commission is the sole state entity authorized by the state constitution to take disciplinary action against a sitting Kentucky judge. It operates under the Kentucky Supreme Court and serves as an investigative body in matters of judicial conduct.

Judge Jamie Jameson
42nd Judicial Circuit, Kentucky

Jameson is facing four charges of misconduct from the commission, including allegedly:

  • Acting as an “alter ego for the 42nd Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Board in the creation and development of an ankle monitoring program” and failing to separate himself as circuit judge from his duties on the board, creating “the appearance of impropriety to the public.” 
  • Acting as an “alter ego for the 42nd Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Board” in the implementation and operation of its ankle monitoring program. 
  • Mismanaging his courtroom and engaging in “acts of retaliation” and deviating from acceptable standards of judicial conduct. 
  • And using the influence and prestige of his office to “pressure attorneys, individuals, and groups to fund and support your political campaign, going as far as saying that certain monetary contributions were not sufficient.”

The document released by the commission fully outlines each charge, citing laws, statutes and codes of conduct as they apply to Jameson charges.

Jameson’s more than 70-page response to the charges, as well as exhibits submitted as evidence in response to them – including emails, texts, messages, documents and statements from staff, friends and his personal physician – are also included in the commission document.

Jameson’s legal representation argues the facts and opinions that led the commission to make these charges were submitted by “individuals who seek to provide political benefit” to Jameson’s election opponent, Andrea Moore, in his bid for reelection this fall.

“Long before receiving all of the claims and factual information submitted against him from the Commission, Judge Jameson was informed by persons involved in the local justice system in Marshall County that a group of six or fewer attorneys and at least one member of court personnel were working to submit a ‘diatribe’ of tainted factual information to the Commission in an attempt to damage Judge Jameson’s reputation during an election year to the benefit of his opponent,” the response said.

The mission of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission is to encourage judges, commissioners and candidates for judicial office to maintain high standards of conduct and promote public confidence in the “integrity, independence, competence, and impartiality” of Kentucky’s judiciary.

In cases where judges, commissioners and candidates for judicial office are found to have engaged in misconduct or to be incapacitated, the commission can take disciplinary action, including issuing admonitions, reprimands, censures, suspensions or removal from office.

Unless a resolution is reached between the Judicial and Jameson in the next 15 days, there will be a public hearing, the circuit court judge told WKMS late Thursday.

Jameson doesn't expect a resolution to be reached before the hearing date, but he does hope that his constituency will see his side of the story. He noted his work with the Community Corrections Board and their efforts to abate drug addiction in the district.

"I honestly believe 100% when the people from the community I grew up in see what they are labeling as allegations and charges [they'll say], 'Why in the world does anybody think this is wrong? This is what a judge ought to be doing,'" Jameson said.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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