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Supreme Court rejects extension of discipline for judge

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 16:16:17-05

The Louisiana Supreme Court has rejected a recommendation to extend supervision of a Kaplan judge.

Back in 2017, City Judge F. Stanton Hardee III was arrested at his Colorado bachelor party, accused of getting drunk and grabbing a waitress without her permission. He was cited with four misdemeanors: sexual battery, public intoxication, failure to provide identity and interference with an officer. He pleaded no contest to the charges and that case has been closed.

As a result of that incident, Louisiana's attorney discipline board and Hardee filed a joint discipline plan, meaning it was one Hardee worked out with the bar. Under that plan, he was suspended from the practice of law for one year with all but six months deferred, followed by probation coinciding with the remainder of his JLAP monitoring agreement. If successfully completed, JLAP monitoring will end on December 5, 2022.

But at the time, Hardee was both a practicing attorney and a city judge. And in 2019, Louisiana's judge discipline board also filed charges against him for the incident. The recommendation from that case was that Hardee be suspended from judicial office for two years with all but six months deferred, retroactive to the date of his suspension as an attorney. In addition, Hardee would be subject to a period of monitoring until December 31, 2026, the end of his new term in office, and ordered to pay $2,025.32 incurred to investigate and prosecute this case.

In other words, he would not be suspended again, but his monitoring agreement would be extended for another four years. The Supreme Court rejected that extension, finding that Hardee has been fully compliant with monitoring since 2017. There's no indication that additional or extended monitoring is needed, the court noted, adding that if the judge violates his monitoring agreement his original two-year suspension can be implemented.

To read the opinion, click here.