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The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ousted a county judge for viewing Internet pornography on his office computer. Saline County District Judge George R. Robertson, 56, had been on the bench for 10 years and on administrative leave since June, when a judicial panel recommended his removal for violating the canons of judicial conduct. Justices noted that the canons state “public trust is essential to an effective judiciary” and that one judge’s conduct may impact the public’s perception of the entire judicial system. Robertson told the commission he spent countless hours as an elder of his church and had spread himself too thin between his judicial work and his church obligations. He has since left his position at the church. He told the panel that adult Web sites provided a diversion over nine months. A county computer technician discovered the viewing and reported it. Robertson’s attorney told the court last month it should be cautious in removing judges “because doing so disrupts the public’s choice of who should serve in the judiciary.” Justices agreed to a point. “The public has also expressed a choice to have a system of discipline which can result in a judge’s removal from office,” the court wrote. The decision was unanimous, though one justice did not participate because he knew Robertson. A person answering the telephone at Robertson’s home said the judge wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will appoint someone to serve the remainder of Robertson’s four-year term, which ends in January 2009. To remain on the bench past then, the person must stand for retention in November 2008. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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