State commission files complaint against indicted Limestone County judge

Douglas Patterson

Judge Douglas Patterson is facing theft and exploitation charges.

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 9:29 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 9:33 AM

A state commission has filed a complaint against an indicted North Alabama judge.

Documents show the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint on Jan. 15 against Limestone County Judge Douglas Patterson for ethics violations.

Patterson is charged with use of official position or office for personal gain, financial exploitation of the elderly first-degree and theft third-degree.

"His conduct has brought the judicial office into disrepute and degraded public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary," the documents say.

A motion was also filed by the commission's attorney asking the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to expedite a trial for Patterson. He will have 30 days to respond and will receive at least 30 days' notice when a trial date is set.

A trial by the Court of the Judiciary is separate from a criminal case and could result in Patterson being removed from office.

On Jan. 17, Chief Judge of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary ordered that a ruling on the commission's motion to expedite the setting of a trial will be deferred until Patterson is served with the complaint and the 30 days for his response expires.

According to its website, the Court of the Judiciary hears complaints filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission. After notice and a public hearing, the court has the authority to "remove from office, suspend without pay, or censure a judge, or apply such other sanction as may be prescribed by law.”

According to state records, Patterson continues to be paid and received a paycheck this month for $10,808.84.

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