SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Supreme Court of Louisiana has issued an order temporarily suspending Shreveport City Court Judge Lee Irvin with pay pending investigations into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female defendant who appeared before him in criminal court.
The allegations stem from an incident at Irvin’s home back in November in which the judge was reportedly caught in the act by an ex-girlfriend, who then shot and seriously wounded herself. That prompted separate investigations by Shreveport police and the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, both of which are still pending.
On Wednesday, Louisiana Supreme Court Judge James Boddie signed an order granting a motion that Judge Irvin be “disqualified from exercising any judicial function during the pendency of further proceedings in this matter, pursuant to La. Const. art. V, § 25(C) and Supreme Court Rule XXIII, § 27.”
Irvin recused himself from the defendant’s case but continued presiding over criminal cases in the Shreveport City Court until Wednesday’s order was issued. The order was effective immediately.
Irvin’s attorney Ron Miciotto declined Friday afternoon to comment on the order and whether his client has been cooperating with the investigations.
Chief Raymond said the results of the police department’s investigation will ultimately be presented to the Caddo District Attorney’s office for review.
The Louisiana Supreme Court can suspend a judge with pay during any pending disciplinary proceedings on the recommendations of the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, which investigates judicial misconduct.
On recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Supreme Court may also “censure, suspend with or without salary, remove from office, or involuntarily retire a judge for willful misconduct relating to his official duty, willful and persistent failure to perform his duty, persistent and public conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute, and conduct while in office which would constitute a felony, or conviction of a felony.”
All proceedings, filings, and evidence filed involving judicial commission investigations remain confidential until a recommendation is filed with the Supreme Court, after which the information becomes public.
According to the Louisiana Judiciary Commission website, the commission is made up of nine members who serve four-year terms, including attorneys, judges, and citizens.