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Kenton Judge Ruttle Suspended from Bench

Kenton County District Judge Ann Ruttle was suspended for one week without pay by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission in a decision released Wednesday.

The suspension is set to take place from April 15 through April 22.

According to the commission's decision, Judge Ruttle was accused of requiring defendants in criminal trials to file written demands for jury trials, making comments to attorneys with the Department of Public Advocacy "that were not patient, dignified and courteous", and suggesting that a defendant enter a guilty plea in a case that the commission said could be reasonably perceived as coercive. 

The commission concluded that Ruttle violated the Code of Judicial Conduct that requires a judge to act at all times "in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety," as well as the requirement that a judge "uphold and apply the law and perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially," and also the requirement that a judge be "patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others."

Ruttle is the second judge from Kenton County to be reprimanded in recent years. Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry was removed from the bench last summer.

Read the full decision from the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission here.

-Staff report

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