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Judge facing ethics inquiry retires from Douglas County post

Posted at 10:14 AM, Sep 12, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge facing a judicial ethics inquiry has retired from her juvenile court position in Douglas County.

Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich told the Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday that retiring may seem like a last-minute decision, but it’s something she’s been thinking about since turning 65 in March.

The newspaper says an ethics investigation began after it reported that Crnkovich kicked out three attorneys from her courtroom in March. She told them they didn’t have standing to participate in the child-custody case hearing. Crnkovich also barred the attorneys from watching proceedings from the gallery. The move is unusual because, with rare exception, Nebraska court hearings and trials are public.

State law says that had a state judicial commission already filed ethics charges, Crnkovich would not have been allowed to retire and receive a pension until the matter were resolved by the commission or the state Supreme Court.