Callahan: The county needs a change on the bench
As your elected official, I accepted the responsibility and commitment to the values of the judiciary, and if I am not willing to be the first to stand up for the integrity and transparency of the bench, then who will?
This county needs a change on the bench. Michael Clarke sees this and is courageous for trying to do something about it. He is a lawyer that takes his responsibility to the public seriously, and without fear of the costs to himself.
Judges are charged with discovering the truth and providing remedies to those who have been harmed by the actions of others. What do we do when it is the action of the judge who has harmed another? I am obligated to report any conduct or behavior that reflects adversely on the character, competence or temperament to serve as judge. (Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 3.11). ("Judge Grant Falsely Accuses Colleague of Stalking").
There is a choice! Grant admitted making a false report against a county employee. This is generally not a mistake that a truly qualified, compassionate, and experienced Judge should make, ever. Ever!
As indicated in the investigator's report, this was not the first time Grant had tried to harm this particular colleague. Before making the false report of stalking, Grant had been complaining for months to the county commissioners about the terms and use of a Columbia County transitional housing program and facility.
Grant's complaints came to a head during an open meeting with at least two commissioners, the judges and other concerned parties in mid-2019, where she stated to everyone that as a judge, she only had two options when punishing these criminal defendants violating probation: (1) order the defendant to prison (not jail), or (2) order the defendant to stay in the county's housing program. Grant preferred the second option and thought this was somehow beneficial to the community.
After the meeting, the judges were notified that there would be no changes to the Columbia County housing program, which would continue to be administered by Columbia County. This decision by the commissioners went directly against Grant's wishes.
Within a month of receiving this letter from the commissioners, Grant formally reported a false stalking complaint against the same colleague who is in charge of following the commissioners' decision.
The position of judge is powerful; it took courage for the county commissioners to hold to their position against Grant. It is more difficult to go against a judge, especially if you appear in front of her on a daily basis. I urge you not to take this matter lightly, and really consider your vote. A simple vote for the incumbent is not warranted in this situation.
Vote Mike Clarke.
Hon. Cathleen Callahan, Hillsboro
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