Judge Unanimously Charged, Suspended

WFSB-TV (Hartford, Connecticut), February 9, 2009

A Superior Court judge charged with drunken driving and using racial slurs while arguing with police officers has been suspended for 240 days by a judicial review panel.

Judge E. Curtissa Cofield was accused of making racially charged comments at the officer who arrested her.

After hearing evidence in the case, the panel planned to deliberate on whether Cofield violated judicial ethics. The panel determined, by unanimous vote, that Cofield’s “disparaging and demeaning” comments failed to live up to the standards of integrity and impartiality expected of judges.

Cofield’s comments to the officer following her arrest were captured on video. She claims that her derogatory and racially charged statements were the effect of her intoxication. She urged the board to give her 30 years of public service and good reviews more weight than the video.

The board unanimously convicted Cofield of all five judicial misconduct charges against her.

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In an appearance before the board Monday, Cofield apologized to the police officers involved, her family, her fellow judges and the entire state.

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[Editor’s Note: Previous reports on the Cofield arrest (including quotations from the transcript of the video recording) can be read here and here.]

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