A state commission recommended the removal of an Oregon judge whose actions, they believe, are so unethical they might actually be criminal.
The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability filed a 48-page report urging the state Supreme Court to remove Judge Vance Day from the bench, reported The Oregonian.
The nine-member panel made the rare recommendation after determining in a two-week hearing that Day had undermined public trust by refusing to marry same-sex couples, hanging a portrait of Adolph Hitler, communicating improperly with a felon and allowing another felon to illegally handle a firearm.
“Judge Day shows no outward sign of comprehending the extent or nature of his ethical violations,” the commission wrote. “His misconduct is of such a nature as to impugn his honesty and integrity.”
The judge made news last year by urging his staff to postpone the scheduling of wedding ceremonies so they could investigate whether the couples were gay — which the commission said violated a federal court order overturning Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Day also made national news after including a portrait of Hitler in a “Hall of Heroes” gallery he set up at the Marion County Courthouse.
The county’s presiding judge ordered Day to remove the portrait of the Nazi leader, but he warned her not “to go there because some very influential people in this town want it up,” the commission found.
Day finally agreed to remove the Hitler portrait, but the commission found that he was reimbursed twice by taxpayers for the $879 he spent having it matted.
The commission found that Day hired defendants whose probation he was overseeing to help with home projects, and they also found the judge “relentlessly” texted a felon who was on probation.
That felon was a Navy SEAL, and the commission found that Day brought him to a wedding to “show him off” and asked the man to introduce him to other Navy SEALs.
The commission also faulted the judge for allowing a felon to illegally handle a gun while helping Day’s son prepare for military service.
Day, who disputed the commission’s findings, has suggested the ethics investigation was an unfair attack on his religious beliefs — but the commission said those claims were false and intentionally deceptive.
“Judge Day has engaged in a pattern of dishonesty,” the commission wrote. “Although the goal of much of his disingenuousness appears to be covering up misconduct, some of this conduct seems to have other independent objectives.”