Council agrees to reinstate Judge West - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Council agrees to reinstate Judge West

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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:00 pm

Despite a recent reprimand, the Marana Town Council voted to give Judge Jim West another shot.

In a 5-2 vote April 8, the town council decided to extend West’s term in the Marana Municipal Court for two more years. His current term expires in June.

The decision was tabled to the April 8 meeting after council members reached an impasse after a lengthy discussion behind closed doors a week earlier.

The re-appointment came with two caveats: West will continue to work with the assistant town manager on personnel issues, and the judge must undergo a six-month or yearly performance review.

West believes the council already knew the outcome of the reinstatement, but took a needlessly long time to present that decision.

“I think they pretty much knew what they were going to do,” West said after the vote. West said the caveat of meeting with town officials regularly is not a problem because he he does that now.

In February, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct found West was violating the judicial code on two counts:  one when he did not take all the necessary steps to declare a conflict of interest in a traffic hearing for a fellow Rotary Club member in August, and another when he used paid sick leave to serve as a substitute judge in Ajo in October.

West has stated that the timing of the ethics violation and his reinstatement was a “case of office politics.”

Council members Russell Clanagan and Roxanne Ziegler were the two dissenting votes.

Ziegler commended West on the judicial side, but said he was not doing a good job on the managerial side.

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