Washington County district judge resigning after misconduct allegations

The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - August 21, 2018 10:02 am

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) – A veteran Oklahoma judge is resigning after accusations he became so abusive in office that he sent dozens of people to jail for direct contempt of court in violation of their rights.

The Oklahoman reports that Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp said Monday he’s stepping down “with a heavy heart but clear conscience.”

DeLapp faced an ouster trial in October before the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary. He’s been accused of gross neglect of duty, oppression in office, campaign violations, and falsifying a court document, among other things.

An Aug. 1 petition for removal says DeLapp issued “in excess of 200 direct contempt citations ordering incarceration” since 2016.

One woman was jailed for four days for eating sunflower seeds in court.

DeLapp agreed to resign, drop re-election efforts and never serve again as a judge in Oklahoma to settle the case. He’s keeping his judicial retirement benefits.

 

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