Editorial: Answers needed on missing judge

From The Denver Post: Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson is understandably flummoxed. A judge in his county, Robert Rand, has been on paid administrative leave for six full months without any explanation from state judicial authorities. Not even a hint of what’s going on.

Johnson thinks it’s time officials break their silence and provide a general description of why Rand isn’t working. And if they won’t, he would like lawmakers to attempt to find out, since they are vested with impeachment powers and arguably have a legitimate reason for inquiring.

We agree. The situation is baffling and sets a precedent we’d hate to see repeated elsewhere in the state. The independence of the judiciary is extremely important, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers have no right to expect some accountability in terms of showing up for work.

“The legislature can remove a judge. I’m not suggesting they do that right now but I believe that authority gives them a right to gather evidence,” Johnson told us this week.

“We really know absolutely nothing,” Johnson explained. “We’ve spoken with our chief county judge and he wouldn’t tell us anything, and probably shouldn’t. We don’t even know who put him on leave, although I assume it has to be the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline.”

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