Douglas County Judge Removed for ‘Systemic Incompetence’

A hearing panel investigating Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson voted to remove her in a unanimous recommendation. The panel found Judge Peterson to be guilty of ‘systemic incompetence.’ As reported, Judge Peterson had already been “the subject of several FOX 5 I-Team investigations since she took office in late 2020.”

The three-member panel for the Judicial Qualifications Commission based its finding of her “systemic incompetence” based on an array of Peterson’s actions, including “ignoring courthouse rules, abusing courthouse personnel, making inappropriate posts on social media and, in repeated cases, failing to do her job.”

The “extraordinary decision” to remove Peterson was the culmination of “four separate hearings starting in September 2023 where Peterson had a chance to testify and confront her accusers. She faced 30 counts of misconduct.”

An illustrative example of Peterson’s incompetent and unethical behavior was her “decision to jail a woman for simply trying to amend her marriage certificate to include the real name of her recently discovered father.” The unfortunate woman, PJ Skelton, “served two days of a 20-day jail sentence for contempt before her husband could pay a $500 fine.”

The judicial panel interpreted Peterson’s actions harshly. “Such a hasty and shockingly disproportionate reaction is the hallmark of (Peterson’s) intemperance,” wrote the panel. Another illustrative example of Peterson’s intemperate behavior was her attempt “at a neighborhood meeting to get her HOA to settle a lawsuit she had filed, even though she knew the HOA was represented by an attorney.”

In referencing other examples of Peterson’s improper behavior, the panel noted when people such as the county staff criticized her actions, Peterson was quickly triggered to invoke “allegations of obstructionism or even racism.”

The panel found that Peterson “publicly vilified colleagues, was quick to threaten them with unnecessary legal action, and generally projects a spiteful and vainglorious persona.” As reported, “the report also cited multiple examples of failure to actually do her job which needlessly delayed petitions before her office.” Refusing to act in a manner that  “promotes the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” the panel concluded Judge Peterson “must go.”

D & B Staff

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Episode 29