Judge Williams Steps Down
Dec 20, 2011
Ira writes: Judge Amanda Williams, who was the subject of our episode "Very Tough Love" has announced that she'll resign from the bench as of January 2nd. Because she's stepping down, ethics charges brought against her by the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission will be dropped. Earlier this month, the Commission added two charges to the original 12 counts it filed in November. One of those counts accused Judge Williams of allowing her lawyer in the case, John Ossick, to represent litigants in cases she was still presiding over from the bench without disclosing their attorney-client relationship on the court record. The other accused her of putting a man into drug court even though there were no drug charges against him, because he was the nephew of attorney Jim Bishop. When a drug court staffer questioned the decision, according to the charges, Judge Williams replied "Jim Bishop has been there for me for years and years and years. He has never asked me for anything, ever, in the entire time I have been on the bench, to use my power in any case to do anything for anybody and he's asked me to do this. ... And it's that damn simple." She also said, according to the filing: "It's called being a Bishop. And I don't want to have any more conversations about it. I know I'm doing the wrong thing, " Jim Bishop has denied asking for any favors from Judge Williams. Judge Williams will be stepping down after 21 years on the bench. In a consent order, she agreed not to seek other judicial offices. The JQC's jurisdiction is limited to removing judges from the bench. Judge Williams can still face criminal charges for some of the JQC's allegations. Here's the AP story about Williams' resignation.