Judge who pulled gun on lawyers in courtroom has a history of ethics violations

A West Virginia judge who once pulled a gun on lawyers in his courtroom resigned last week after investigators discovered he diverted money meant for a drug program into a slush fund he oversaw and later tapped for “improper purposes," The Daily Beast reports.

The report also details how David W. Hummel, Jr. violated judicial ethics rules when he made two little girls cry while aggressively questioning them regarding a case where they were allegedly sexually abused by their father.

“He is a longtime lawyer and former assistant prosecutor,” the report says. “He had absolutely no business calling a child of tender years a liar or suggesting to an impressionable six-year-old that she had engaged in some ‘sinister plan’ regarding her father.”

The commission conducting the investigation told Hummel that “when dealing with young children, judges should remember at all times that they are not wooden toys that can be repaired with ease. They are living beings with thoughts and feelings who are coming into a huge unknown called ‘court’ to talk to what a child may perceive as a scary individual called ‘judge’ and must be treated with charity, understanding, and patience.”

At The Daily Beast points out, Hummel resigned the day before Thanksgiving after he had "become a national pariah—and the subject of jokes within the legal field—after The Daily Beast revealed his intimidating show of bravado earlier this year."

In July, The Beast reported that Hummel "whipped out his handgun, waved it in the air, and left it on the bench with the barrel pointing directly at the corporate lawyers who had irritated him."

“I did not have my 1911 at any point during that trial,” Hummel said at the time, referring to a common type of semi-automatic pistol. “It was secreted in a drawer on the bench. I never showed my 1911 at the trial whatsoever—at any point during that trial.”

Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.