Inquiry Commission Issues a Complaint Against Justice Roy Moore - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

last updated August 22, 10:25 a.m.

Inquiry Commission Issues a Complaint Against Justice Roy Moore

Listen to Eileen Jones' Exclusive Interviews with Justices Roy Moore and Gorman Houston taped on Thursday, August 21 prior to Justice Moore's temporary suspension.
 
 
Chief Justice Roy Moore has been temporarily suspended as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court as a result of a charges filed by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission. The suspension was automatic when the commission decided to forward an ethics complaint against Justice Moore to the Court of the Judiciary.
 
During the suspension, Moore may not handle any duties of his judicial office.  The state has to give Moore 30 days notice before trial and the trial will be handled like a civil trial and probably be held in Montgomery.
 
Attorney General Bill Pryor said Friday that his office's public corruption and white collar crime unit will handle the prosecution of the case. Pryor says the length of the case will depend, in part, on how many pretrial motions Justice Moore makes.

Senior Associate Justice Gorman Houston will serve as acting chief justice.

The Court of the Judiciary which will hear the case consists of the following:

  • 1 member appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court - William Thompson, Court of Civil Appeals
  • 2 members appointed by the Circuit Judges Association - David Raines from Fort Payne, Robert Kendall from Mobile
  • 1 member appointed by the District Judges Association - John Dobson, Oneonta
  • 2 lawyers appointed by the Alabama Bar Association - John Denson from Opelika and William Melton from Evergreen
  • 1 member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor - James North, Birmingham
  • 2 members appointed by the governor. These seats are vacant.

The Judicial Inquiry Commission met early Friday morning and supporters of Chief Justice Roy Moore made sure they were there to voice their support for the chief justice. In what supporters saw as a "Journey for Justice," they walked from the state's judicial building to the commission meeting place at the Alabama Center for Commerce as a journey for justice.

Judge Moore's stalwart supporters wanted to convince the commission not to file charges against Justice Moore. Supporters knew the seriousness of the situation and viewed it as "a critical time for us to show support."

The commission was scheduled to meet in a closed, confidential hearing to see if there was probable cause to forward the ethics complaint against Judge Moore to the Court of the Judiciary. But the halls of the seventh floor were filled with the justice's supporters. They were asked to leave and they did, but not before offering up prayers seeking mercy for the man they believe is fighting for their cause.

This time the prayers were not answered the way the prayerful crowd was seeking. But they believe in their cause; They believe in their judge, and they believe in their God. For Moore's supporters it's just a matter of time before their cause is proved just.

The following is the list of charges from the commission's report.

"CHARGE ONE

22. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary as required by Canon 1 of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

CHARGE TWO

23. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved as required by Canon 1 of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

CHARGE THREE

24. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities as required by Canon 2 of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

CHARGE FOUR

25. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to respect and comply with the law as required by Canon 2A of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

CHARGE FIVE

26. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary as required by Canon 2A of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

CHARGE SIX

27. Chief Justice Moore, while serving as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, did fail to avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute as required by Canon 2B of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics in that, in the circumstances described in paragraphs 1-21, he willfully failed to comply with an existing and binding court order directed to him.

DONE this 22nd day of August, 2003.

THE ALABAMA JUDICIAL

INQUIRY COMMISSION

_____________________

Randall L. Cole

Chairman

BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION"

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