Editorial: Stop keeping secrets about judge’s paid absence

From The Coloradoan (Fort Collins):  Imagine you and your neighbor have hired an independent contractor to plow your shared driveway every time it snows this winter. One snowy morning, you notice a driver from a different company is out doing the work. You inquire to your neighbor, who tells you that the original contractor hired is no longer on the job but still will be paid. In fact, you find out he’s been paid each week for a month but hasn’t done any of the work. Your neighbor concealed that information from you and won’t give you an explanation now, leaving you wondering whether the contractor is ill, simply isn’t doing the job to standards or might have done something improper. All you know is that you’re paying someone to do a job he isn’t doing but you have no idea why, whether it’s justified or if he’ll ever be back on the job.

It’s deceptive and a breach of trust in the partnership with your neighbor.

And this is what’s happening now in our Colorado judicial system.

The taxpaying public of Colorado and Larimer County should be told why Judge Robert Rand has been absent for the past six months but is still being fully compensated. Rand makes $123,000 per year.

Not only has there been no indication about why the state has elected to pay him while absent, but there hasn’t been even a vague indication of whether the state is investigating allegations or if the absence could be for innocuous reasons, such as an illness. Six months of silence is becoming absurd, to the point that Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson is calling for an investigation into what is going on.

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