Board Recommends W.Va. Judge Suspension Until 2016

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The Judicial Hearing Board is recommending that a Putnam County family court judge be suspended without pay until his term ends on Dec. 31, 2016.

In an order filed Monday, the board also says William Watkins should be censured for each of 24 violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Watkins admitted during a Nov. 27 hearing before the board that he delayed rulings, failed to enter domestic violence orders into the state's tracking system and screamed and cursed at litigants.

The board rejected a proposed 90-day suspension without pay that would be stayed while Watkins addresses deficiencies and undergoes counseling and judicial training. It cites the number of violations and Watkins' "apparent failure to take meaningful responsibility for his misconduct."

The state Supreme Court will make the final decision.