El Paso County judge chooses to retire over disciplinary hearing

The Gazette/MGN

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County Judge Jonathan Walker has chosen to retire instead of face disciplinary proceeding for alleged misconduct according to the Colorado Judicial Department.

Because Judge Walker has agreed to retire from the bench effective Feb. 15, the Commission requested the dismissal of the proceedings pending against him. On Feb. 9, the Colorado Supreme Court approved the recommendation of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline for the termination of disciplinary proceedings involving Judge Walker.

Judge Walker was suspended on Nov. 8, a reason for his suspension wasn't given. A statement of charges was filed on Nov. 23. The statement of charges and answers contained multiple claims and defenses.

The first claim was that Judge Walker engaged in undignified and disrespectful conduct, including harassment, toward three female Judicial employees. Judge Walker denied the allegations.

Another claim stated Judge Walker retaliated against another Judicial staff member once he learned that the staff member had been interviewed as part of an investigation into his conduct in violation. Judge Walker again denied the allegations and stated he and the staff member didn't get along and the staff member was a poor performer.

The third claim, Judge Walker improperly modified plea agreements in a number of cases without informing the parties, violating his duty to promote confidence in the judiciary and avoid the appearance of impropriety and unfairness. Judge Walker admitted that he modified plea agreements but stated that his modification was lawful.

The final claim, Judge Walker failed to disqualify himself from cases where his personal attorney was representing a litigant. Judge Walker asserted that he acted in conformance with his duty to disqualify himself.

Walker is a nine-year veteran of the El Paso County courts.