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Gordon says she plans to seek second Family Court seat; appealing removal from office to KY Supreme Court

May 24, 2022 | 12:12 am

Updated May 24, 2022 | 1:52 am

Julie Gordon | Illustration by Owensboro Times, photo by AP Imagery

Julie Hawes Gordon recently announced via social media that she plans to run for the second Daviess County Family Court judgeship, which was created by the state legislature this year and will be on the ballot this fall. Gordon was recently removed from office as the first Family Court judge due to misconduct — specifically relating to criminal cases involving her son — and she also lost in the primary this month in her bid to regain the seat.

Until this year, Daviess County only had one Family Court position. Legislation passed in April to add a second position. Due to the timing, there was no primary for the second position, and the deadline to file for that judgeship is June 7.

Jennifer Hendricks and Thomas Vallandingham beat Gordon in the primary for the initial Family Court position and are currently set to square off in the General Election this fall. There were 14,900 votes cast in the primary, and Hendricks claimed 7,270 (49%). Vallandingham drew 4,393 votes, while Gordon finished with 3,237.

Anyone who files for the second position will appear on the November ballot, with the person receiving the most votes winning office. At the time of publication, only Andy Johnson — a partner with Gordon Law Offices in Owensboro — had officially filed to run for the second position.

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Though Gordon was removed from office, she is allowed by state law to continue to seek election.

Gordon made her announcement via Facebook on Saturday, when she said her response to questions on whether she planned to file for the second judgeship was a “resounding yes.”

“After taking a few days to spend with my family, we will be back in full swing with our campaign of truth, and ready to win in November so I can continue to serve this community I love,” she said.

Gordon declined to comment on her plans to run for the position. In a text message, she said wanted to file her Supreme Court brief before discussing her campaign. That brief is due today.

Gordon is filing a brief with the Kentucky Supreme Court to appeal the Judicial Conduct Commission’s ruling to remove her from office.

On April 22, the JCC issued their ruling in a 25-page document. The entire ruling can be found here, and a synopsis of the counts and violations can be found here.

The Commission said their decision was “based on the totality of the circumstances and evidence presented at the Hearing and the broad range of repeated and systemic misconduct by (Gordon) over a substantial period of time” and that “the severity of the penalty imposed is driven significantly by her violations of the Canons in Count I, and it alone justifies removal from office, even without the significant other misconduct found through Counts II – V.”

They further wrote that, “Based upon clear and convincing evidence presented at the Hearing, individually, the misconduct claims against Judge Gordon are of significant concern and present numerous, serious transgressions, and a pattern of improper conduct and violations of the Rules of the Kentucky Code of Judicial Conduct. Collectively, the misconduct claims against Judge Gordon established at the Hearing result in a tragic but necessary disciplinary action against her as set forth below.”

Gordon appealed directly to the JCC asking them to overturn the decision, citing her rights under Marsy’s Law.

In a 3-page response, the Commission’s counsel said Gordon’s actions started 3 years before the law went into effect and that she additionally was “using her influence as a judge and leveraging her relationships to secure favorable treatment” for her son in his criminal cases.

Gordon’s request for the JCC to reconsider their ruling was denied on May 2.

May 24, 2022 | 12:12 am

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