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Judicial discipline ()

Bradford C. Timbers broke just about every ethics rule written for judges. He was charged by disciplinary authorities for coming to work drunk, attempting to fix a traffic case, screaming profanities in court and patting his secretary on her buttocks.   The troubled Allentown district justice was removed from the bench in 1997, just three years after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court created the Judicial Conduct Board to police the state’s judges. District justices have since been renamed magisterial district judges, but while the title has changed, one thing has remained constant: the state’s minor judiciary is plagued by misconduct.   A review by The Legal of JCB records shows that these judges—those who the public is most likely to interact with, whether it’s for traffic tickets, DUI arrests or landlord-tenant disputes—accounted for the vast majority of ethics offenders. The disciplinary records spanned from from 1993 to 2016, starting one year prior to the board’s foundation in 1994.   The Legal’s review shows that just over two-thirds of all disciplinary actions against judges involved MDJs, including judges of the now-defunct Philadelphia Traffic Court and former district justices. The judges of the minor judiciary ran the gamut of misconduct from fixing cases to taking bribes to several examples of uniquely outrageous behavior. 

Maynard A. Hamilton, a Lancaster County MDJ, punched an off-duty police officer at a golf outing. He was suspended in 2007.

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