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Eye On Olympia

How to judge a judge…

Thanks to the Internet, you can easily do at least a cursory check into the credentials of your doctor, lawyer, or that contractor who’s replacing the water heater.

And if you run afoul of the law, you can now check to see if the judge has ever been disciplined.

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct has launched on online database of judicial disciplinary actions since December 1980. It’s at . You can search by first or last name, the discipline imposed, the county, the court or the date. In most cases, the site includes the text of disciplinary documents.

It’s interesting reading. You can learn about Pierce County District Court Judge Mark S. Deming, who in 1986 sexually harassed female court workers “by making lewd and offensive comments (and) physically touching them.” Or Seattle District Court Judge John R. Ritchie, who filed “false and misleading” travel vouchers for five business trips to Florida and Arizona. Or the case of Tacoma Municipal Court Judge Ralph G. Turco, who was recommended for removal from office after he intentionally knocked his wife down during a church function.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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