J. MICHAEL FLOURNOY
The Arizona Supreme Court suspended from the Coconino Co. Superior Court Div I bench Judge J. Michael Flournoy for a period of 18 months for violations of conduct involving:
1. COURT RECORD TAMPERING
2. ILL TEMPERED REMARKS DIRECTED TOWARD ATTORNEYS AND LITIGANTS
3. SEXUALLY DEMEANING REMARKS, AND OTHER VIOLATIONS
Click this > "Arizona Supreme Court Opinion" (use back button to return to this page)
Click this > "Arizona Supreme Court Opinion on Flournoy's appeal" (use back button to return to this page)
Nationwide associations of Lawyers and Judges have declared that Judge J. Michael Flournoy was among the 10 worst Judges on the bench. He returned from his court ordered suspension on Dec. 26th, 2000, to serve out the remainder of his current term— two years. Citizens took action. Facing unprecedented opposition in the next election he opted to resign, and on June 30th, 2002 he left the bench before his term expired. His service was a disgrace to the bench and our County. And it was a wise decision on his part not to run for this office again.
Before his resignation the Arizona Supreme Court did not go far enough !
A mere suspension WAS not enough !
HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE BENCH!
AND THIS WAS NOT DONE BECAUSE OF RAMIFICATIONS SUCH ACTION WOULD HAVE HAD UPON THOUSANDS OF CASES THAT HE HAD PRESIDED OVER!
DISHONORABLE JUDGE J. Michael Flournoy, ever since having been appointed to the bench in 1992 had been in the news repeatedly for his bizarre behavior and cases: And before the cases that resulted in his suspension, he had been reprimanded at least SIX TIMES! The investigations and the findings regarding these reprimands have never been made public.
But as was widely reported in local, state and national papers in July of 1995, he allowed a seance in court in order to read into the court record the words of a person dead over 500 years! And this outrageous incident is noteworthy in so far as it is the first time since the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 that spiritualism has been utilized to resolve a court case in American justice!
This and his more recent violations earned Flournoy the distinction of being elected by lawyers and his peers as one of the ten worst judges in the country. ( Ref. GAIL DIANE COX The National Law Journal April 26, 2000) (click link, and go down the list-- Flournoy is there.) And more from The Whiteboard and Reuters
(Click where indicated in blue for full articles, then TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE USE "BACK" BUTTONS IN YOUR BROWSER
Then these bold headlines and articles appeared in and on the front page of our local paper, as well as state papers
(Click blue links to view these articles and others will be added in the near future):
Judge charged with misconduct "Hot temper, hot water"; "Flournoy’s temper triggered probe; "Judge responds to the charges" (9/20/1998, AZ Daily Sun) Click for text (use BACK button to return to this page after each)
Judge Flournoy admits allegations (3/ 21/1999, AZ Daily Sun) Text
Judge guilty of record-tampering "Flournoy to be disciplined today" (3/26/1999, AZ Daily Sun) Text
Judicial standards have changed; so should Flournoy (3/28/1999, AZ Daily Sun, Viewpoints, p4)
Panel wants Flournoy suspended "18 month penalty for judge awaits Supreme Court ruling" (5/19/1999, AZ Daily Sun)
Recall Flournoy (5/30/1999, AZ Daily Sun, Letters to the Editor p. 7)
Flournoy fights bench suspension "State wants 18 month suspension to begin today" (6/24/1999, AZ Daily Sun) Text
Flournoy case prompts reform bid (9/5/1999, AZ Daily Sun)
Oversight of runaway judges critical (9/19/1999, AZ Daily Sun, Letters to the Editor. p.6) Text
Flournoy fires back at accusers "Suspended judge tells Supreme Court discipline system flawed" (9/24/1999, AZ Daily Sun) Text
Flournoy opts for disability retirement "Papers filed 2 days after suspension." (9/30/1999) Text
High court upholds Flournoy suspension (12/17/1999, AZ Daily Sun) Text
Judicial and Attorney Misconduct in Arizona
National Law Journal
Also-- do a "google" search at google.com, or any of the major search engines using the key words: "Judge J. Michael Flournoy" You will be amazed.
After all of this--
on December 26th, 2000--
he WAS returned to the bench? ….
We as dedicated and concerned citizens of Coconino County, Arizona must take greater responsibility for judges that serve on the bench in our community! Unlike other elected public servants, our elected judges hold matters of life and death, wealth and poverty, freedom and or the lack thereof in their decisions. Only those that have had the misfortune of having had a biased and corrupt judge such as J. Michael Flournoy preside over their court actions can understand the full impact that such a person has on lives.
Judges with dishonorable records such as J. Michael Flournoy must not run unopposed in our county elections. And there must not be "an unspoken agreement among interested parties" that incumbent judges face no opposition in elections. With this in mind, I launched an effort to unseat this dishonorable Judge from the bench. I and a friend David C. Diver circulated numerous fliers about this Judge, and encouraged others to run against him in the next election. Fortunately, opposition candidates surfaced, and this caused J. Michael Flournoy to re-consider his intent to run for the office again. "Unspoken agreements" regarding incumbent judges aside, this demonstrates that democracy works, and is a credit to the citizens of Coconino County, Arizona.</>
But this aside Judges must not sit in judgement of others after having committed acts such as Flournoy was charged and found guilty of.
Flournoy's record speaks for itself, and it speaks against him. Besides the six previous reprimands, he was found guilty of:
Any one of these offenses from any other civilian servant would have warranted severe action! Prison time.
Flournoy's suspension was not enough!
He should have been more severely prosecuted for these charges!
FLOURNOY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PERMANENTLY REMOVED FROM THE BENCH! AND PERHAPS EVEN JAILED!
But after his mild "hand slapping" he returned to the bench, and seeing candidates arise to challenge his seat, he realized that his next election would be his recall! He resigned, ostensibly for, as he claimed, "failing vision."
UPDATE: 04/28/05 "failing vision" ? Click this > "Flournoy still practicing law." (use back button to return to this page)
J. Michael Flournoy's dishonorable service demonstrates one thing-- We must take control of our courts!
WATCH THOSE JUDGES. ENCOURAGE OPPOSITION CANDIATES, AND VOTE!
And if need be...
RECALL DISHONORABLE JUDGES!
You can make a difference!
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