► Cincinnati Post – 03/20/01 – Judicial double-dipping unethical, complaint says Print E-mail

Cincinnati Post – March 20, 2001 – Judicial double-dipping unethical, complaint says

By Randy Ludlow
COLUMBUS -- A grievance alleging unethical behavior by First District Ohio Court of Appeals Judge Rupert Doan and other double-dipping judges apparently has been filed with the Ohio Supreme Court.
The filing contends Cincinnatian Doan and three other judges violated the Code of Judicial Conduct by winning re-election, briefly retiring to draw their tax-subsidized pensions and then beginning new terms at full salary. The judges' actions were first reported in The Post.
David Palmer of Powell, Ohio, who bills himself as executive director of the Committee to Expose Dishonest and Incompetent Attorneys and Judges, said he filed the grievance Monday with Disciplinary Counsel Jonathan Couglan.
Couglan said he could not confirm the filing since grievances do not become public unless he submits a formal complaint with a disciplinary board following an investigation.
Palmer said the double dips violate Code of Judicial Conduct requirements of high standards promoting public confidence and an avoidance of the appearance of impropriety.
Palmer's complaint states ''voters had an absolute right to know of these judges' intentions to double dip ... before they cast their votes.''
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer denounced double dipping by judges, but said the practice was legal under a change in state retirement laws that took effect last year.
Doan secretly retired after winning re-election last year to begin collecting his approximate $88,000 annual pension and then retured to the bench for a new six-year term at an annual salary of $115,950.
Doan and the other judges have denied wrongdoing. The General Assembly is moving to again forbid the practice.

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