Town of Guilford judge accused of misconduct

GUILFORD – A Town of Guilford Court judge has been accused of judicial misconduct, including acting in a manner that appeared intended to coerce guilty pleas, conveying an appearance of bias, and making discourteous and threatening comments to defendants over a two-year period, according to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

According to the commission, Guilford Town Judge Joan M. Kline was served a formal written complaint containing seven charges against her, including: acting in a manner that appeared to coerce guilty pleas, undermining the right to counsel, conveying an appearance of bias, eliciting incriminatory responses from a defendant at arraignment, making discourteous and threatening comments, allegedly destroying court records without authorization, and holding the extra-judicial positions of Oxford Village Court Clerk and Guilford Fire Department police officer, which are incompatible with judicial office.

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