Democrat Judge Suspended for Dozens of Ethical Violations
I have to say, it is tough to remember a year when so many judges have been found guilty of corruption and/or ethics violations.
The latest to fall is Judge Daniel Gaul, a Democrat, who was found guilty of 29 ethics violations.
On Friday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Gaul will be suspended for a full year, without pay, for his violations.
Guilty, as Charged
The suspension for Gaul comes after a complaint was filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for conduct that dates back to 2014 and ran through 2019.
Controversy first landed on Gaul’s plate in 2007, when he threatened to jail a defendant that he deemed to have been threatening a witness.
Gaul was suspended for his actions in that case, but the Ohio Supreme Court stayed the ruling pending good behavior by Gaul.
He clearly did not learn his lesson.
Gaul was accused of coercing a defendant to plead “no contest” in 2017 on attempted murder, aggravated robbery, and other charges related to a drive-by shooting that took place in 2015. The plea deal was overturned when the 8th District Court reviewed the plea deal, and the man was acquitted at trial.
Another Gaul decision was overturned by the 8th District Court in 2019 because it was revealed that Gaul had improperly questioned a defendant.
The court ruled, "Based on the record before this court, we find this to be a clear example of bias and prejudice on the part of the trial court...It is also clear that the trial court abandoned its duty as an impartial factfinder and interrogated appellant on matters, not only inadmissible, but wholly immaterial to the instant case.”
The report stated that Gaul had asked the defendant more than 80 questions during the trial.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon L. Kennedy ruled, “Rather than promoting confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, Gaul’s conduct has called those essential elements of our justice system into question while harming multiple litigants.”
What is even more shocking is that Gaul won re-election twice with these scandals hanging over his head, once again proving that most voters today simply pull the handle based on the letter after a person’s name rather than their record and agenda.