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Bar News - September 7, 2007

Statement on Behalf of Judge Patricia Coffey



I represent Superior Court Judge Patricia Coffey in connection with the recent charges issued by the Judicial Conduct Committee. As she has done throughout the investigation of the matter, Judge Coffey will continue to cooperate and make complete disclosure of the facts. In addition, Judge Coffey has asked Superior Court Chief Justice Lynn to place her on administrative leave pending resolution of the charges, because she does not want this to be a distraction from the important work of the Court, or to possibly prejudice any pending cases. (See order on page xx)


The statement of charges does not describe Judge Coffey’s complete cooperation with the efforts to ensure that the debt owed by her husband to the Professional Conduct Committee was satisfied through their joint assets, including granting a lien against the real estate that is the subject of the trust. She provided the Committee’s counsel with full financial disclosures, and cooperated fully in reaching an agreement for repayment. She is disappointed that the statement of charges does not mention the manner in which she handled herself and the trust assets in an effort to repay her husband’s debt, and to ensure that the remaining obligation was secure. Far from hindering that collection, as soon as she became aware that the Committee was seeking to collect that debt, she did everything in her power to cooperate with their efforts.


Judge Coffey did not defraud, or attempt to defraud, anyone, and looks forward to a prompt resolution, and her return to the bench where she has served for many years.


Russell Hilliard



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