A Kentucky family court judge has been removed from the bench after it was discovered that she was propositioning lawyers and court employees with threesomes, allowing boozing in the court chambers and using coercion to get backing for her political campaigns.
Kenton County Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry was voted out of her job in a unanimous decision made on Monday by a five-member judicial commission following her suspension in December, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. At the time, Gentry was placed under investigation amid complaints that she would delay cases involving child abuse in retaliation to lawyers and court employees denying her sex and campaign donations.
"This case does not involve one or two isolated occurrences, but instead involves a pattern of misconduct and repeated exercise of extremely poor judgment – on and off the Bench – by the Respondent that continued for over a year, including after Respondent was informed that a complaint was filed with the Commission against her," the commission wrote in its decision.
Gentry faces several accusations of misconduct. Among them are claims that she forced a veteran courthouse employee out and replaced him with her alleged sexual partner, bandmate and former pastor, Stephen Penrose. She then offered her secretary, Laura Aubrey, a threesome with them.
They were accused of engaging in sexual activities and court staff testified to hearing sexual noises coming from Penrose's office during working hours, but the judge insisted it was a prank.
One attorney, Katherine Schulz, said she resigned after suffering Gentry's "wrath" after declining sexual propositions, while others said they were punished for not supporting her 2018 reelection campaign. Other courthouse staffers said Penrose kept alcohol in his office and would play his guitar during working hours. Gentry also reportedly drank on the job.
Commenting on the commission's decision, Gentry’s lawyer, Jeff Lawson, said it was "the equivalent of the judicial death penalty," adding that the judge should "remain doing the work she was elected to do, and did well."
Gentry has 10 days to appeal the commission’s decision.
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