Update 09/23/05: trial starts
Update 01/21/05: Thompson has been charged with felony public indecency
I've been getting a lot of hits this week for some variation on Donald Thompson, the judge in Salpupa, Creek County, Oklahoma. Today it went through the roof. Well, the spike was first prompted by the story that his hearing was going to be tomorrow (August 20, 2004) (with juicy details promised AND the allegation that the judge "has a mental disability) , then the news yesterday that he'd retired instead of facing the glare of the trial.
Hearing date set in judge's trial (Story last updated at 9:05 AM on August 13, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A hearing has been scheduled for a Creek County judge accused of inappropriate sexual conduct while on the bench.
The Court on the Judiciary issued an order Wednesday setting a hearing on motions on the ouster petition filed against Creek County District Judge Donald D. Thompson. The order, signed by Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon, scheduled a hearing for Aug. 20. Former U.S. Attorney Patrick M. Ryan, who has been appointed as the prosecutor in the case, has filed a motion seeking Thompson's immediate suspension from the bench.
Ryan said leaving Thompson on the bench is a risk for the state while there is a a pending case against the judge. Ryan also wants to amend the list of allegations against Thompson. That amended petition and the names and addresses of prospective witnesses would be filed under seal. Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed a petition seeking to remove Thompson, who has been accused of professional misconduct over allegations that he repeatedly used a penis pump while seated at his bench during trials.
Ryan also alleged that the judge, who was appointed to the bench in 1982, suffers from a mental disability that prevents him from performing his judicial duties.
Thompson has denied the allegations through his attorney. In the upcoming hearing, the court is expected hear a motion from Thompson's attorney, Clark Brewster, to strike certain portions from Edmondson's complaint. Brewster has argued that the allegations against Thompson should be limited to the original complaint filed against the judge with the Council on Judicial Complaints. That complaint, filed by Sapulpa Police Chief Jim Wall, accused Thompson of using a penis pump on Aug. 22 during a trial. Thompson's trial is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Under fire, judge to retire
By Carmel Perez Snyder The Oklahoman
District Judge Donald D. Thompson will retire Sept. 1, instead of facing pending action to remove him from office. The Sapulpa judge submitted a letter Wednesday to Gov. Brad Henry, stating his intent to retire. “This letter is notice of my intention to retire from the office of District Judge of Judicial District No. 24, Office No. 1, State of Oklahoma,” Thompson wrote in his letter to Henry.
“I have greatly enjoyed my public service and offer my gratitude for the public trust reposed in me during the terms I served.”
Thompson, 57, came under investigation after he was accused of improper behavior on the bench. The state Court on the Judiciary had scheduled a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday on several motions, including one to suspend Thompson from the bench. Thompson was appointed in 1982.
Clark Brewster, attorney for Thompson, said the judge had planned to retire before allegations against him surfaced. “He actually considered not retiring so he could see this through,” Brewster said. “But the allegations have been so disruptive, he wanted this to go away.”
In June, Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed a petition with the Court on the Judiciary, seeking Thompson’s removal, accusing him of improper conduct that included genital-related acts in court. Edmondson alleged Thompson used a device known as a “penis pump” in the presence of court employees and jurors. Thompson has denied the allegations.
Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan, acting as prosecutor for the Court on the Judiciary, filed a motion July 23 seeking Thompson’s suspension. A trial was set for Sept. 13, but Brewster said he believes the petition will be dismissed.