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Former judge Hecht, conduct commission reach agreement

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Jan. 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
January 20, 2010 3:24 pm

Former Pierce County Superior Court Judge Michael Hecht is guilty of violating two judicial canons and will face sanctions, the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct announced today.

Hecht reached an agreement with the commission last week that will allow him to avoid a public fact-finding hearing into charges the commission brought against him last year. The commission filed its complaint against Hecht after he was charged in criminal court with two crimes.

As part of the agreement, Hecht agrees that he violated Canon 1 and Canon 2(A) of the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct. According to the code:

Canon 1 requires judicial officers to maintain and personally observe high standards of judicial conduct so as to preserve the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Canon 2(A) requires judicial officers to respect and comply with the law and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

Hecht’s attorney, Wayne Fricke, and the commission’s attorney, Paul Taylor, now will prepare recommendations for punishment that must be submitted to a hearing panel by Feb. 18. That panel will then determine what punishment Hecht should face.

A Pierce County jury convicted Hecht in October of felony harassment and patronizing a prostitute. He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

He since has resigned.

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