Editorials

Gay, GOP, guileless: Which g-word is most troubling in a judge?

N-word use during jail call part of complaint against judge

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert is the subject of a complaint to the Judicial Inquiry Board, mainly regarding his actions involving a murder suspect. The complaint also cites his use of a racial epithet in May 2015 while talking to Jar
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St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert is the subject of a complaint to the Judicial Inquiry Board, mainly regarding his actions involving a murder suspect. The complaint also cites his use of a racial epithet in May 2015 while talking to Jar

Ron Duebbert is wearing the mantle of victimization rather than the robes of a judge.

He said that is because he is Republican and gay.

Because he seems oblivious to any personal responsibility for his situation, pointing out a few things might help.

First, maybe letting a violent felon — so violent that he must register as such because he beat a pregnant teen — live in your home is not the best idea when you are trying to become a judge. Might be some inherent bias there, some conflicts of interest, some potential for compromising the bench’s integrity and decorum. Some alarm bell should have gone off for someone wanting to sit in judgment of others.

Second, maybe lying to police about your contacts with a murder suspect is not a very judge-like thing to do. Maybe it is a really stupid thing to do when you communicated on your cell phone and cops can easily tell if your trousers are in flames.

The bit about trying to talk like a hood rat with a potential client and using the N word is less troubling. In context, Duebbert sounds like a white guy trying to be overly familiar with a young black man rather than a racist. That complaint against him seems petty.

And as far as talking to the press? Seems like the First Amendment should cover that. Plus, it is hard to imagine how Duebbert saying he was interviewed by police or that his housemate was a murder suspect would compromise an investigation.

So his judgment? Not so great. Persecution? Hmmm.

Because urinating in an ice machine, weaving in your convertible with a bar maid and driving home after one too many at a Rams game do not disqualify you from being a judge in St. Clair County, maybe Duebbert is being persecuted for politics and preference. By many other measures, he’d fit right in.

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