Third Judicial District Judge Terrence M. Walters has been publicly reprimanded by the Board on Judicial Standards.
The board has accused Walters of failing to supervise a law clerk, approving inaccurate time sheets, refusing to let a defendant withdraw a plea, trying a defendant in absentia and being discourteous to a psychologist.
According to the reprimand, Walters had a law clerk who regularly failed to work full eight-hour days, took pro bono bankruptcy cases, which he worked on during regular work hours, and often did not come to work if Walters was on leave or in another county. The board alleged that Walters failed to supervise the clerk and signed his time cards anyway.
Walters also was accused of being discourteous to a deaf psychologist who was contacted to conduct an examination of a defendant who was also deaf. Walters allegedly wrote in an email, “I want to be clear, however, that this is to be a Rule 20 exam and not some agenda-driven ‘cause’.” The psychologist was offended by the perceived implication that she would be “agenda-driven” in the evaluation of a deaf client. She declined to work on the case.
Walters will be required to undergo anger management counseling, select a mentor to help him identify the causes of his misconduct and propose a plan to demonstrate how he will address the issues identified in the reprimand. A member of the board will monitor his progress. Walters also will be required to write a letter of apology to the psychologist.