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Kentucky judge suspended after alleged affair and nepotism

A Kentucky judge was suspended with pay pending an investigation into accusations of misconduct including, among others, nepotism, retaliation against local...

Posted: Jan 8, 2020 8:51 AM

A Kentucky judge was suspended with pay pending an investigation into accusations of misconduct including, among others, nepotism, retaliation against local government employees, and having an affair with a man and a woman in a courthouse office, court documents show.

Family Circuit Court Judge Dawn Gentry was suspended Monday after she was charged with nine counts of misconduct in November 2019. Her first hearing to address the charges came last Friday before the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.

In addition to alleged affairs, the JCC has accused Gentry of retaliating against local government employees who didn't provide full support for her election campaign. It further alleges Gentry engaged in nepotism, appointing friends to a specific panel after also coercing then-incumbent members of that same panel to donate to her campaign the maximum amount of money allowed.

Gentry's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, told CNN that Gentry was disappointed with the decision to suspend her temporarily on the basis that her suspension was "in the best interest of justice," as the JCC decided.

"We put up a case that she's a very good judge," Ryan said. "They just thought she was getting too much bad publicity."

In her response to the charges as part of the Friday hearing, Gentry rebuffed the accusations. She said she did not ask anyone for monetary donations, denied all charges of retaliation and any sexual advances toward anyone, and maintained that everyone she appointed to a GAL -- guardian ad litem -- panel had proper training beforehand, the documents read.

A guardian ad litem is an appointed person -- usually an attorney -- for a child who is responsible for pursuing the best interests of the child.

Bryan Beauman, whom the JCC hired to serve as a prosecutor in the hearing, said he didn't have any further comment beyond what he said at the hearing on Friday.

The other charges Gentry faces include filing inaccurate timesheets for her employees, holding unofficial conferences outside of trials that excluded some relevant parties, failing to provide enough information in a prior investigation, and making unwanted sexual advances toward another female attorney, Katherine Schulz. Gentry denies all of those accusations as well.

The official filing says that any one of the charges would be sufficient to warrant consequences, but that the nine together "demonstrate a pattern of misconduct in office."

Ryan, who formerly served as a judge and a JCC member, said he expects a month or two will pass before Gentry's next hearing, which would determine the level of punishment issued against Gentry, if any.

If found guilty, Gentry faces anything from a formal admonishment to removal from office, Ryan said.

Gentry, a Republican, was elected in 2018 to an eight-year term.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 252475

Reported Deaths: 5521
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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