JUDICIAL CONDUCT BOARD v. DOMITROVICH
PENNSYLVANIA STATE COURT OF JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE
July 7th, 2014
Erie County Court of Common Pleas Judge Stephanie Domitrovich has ethics charges filed against her by the Judicial Conduct Board in the State Court of Judicial Discipline.
Leonard Ambrose is retained as counsel and brings in former U.S. Attorney Jerry Alan Johnson as co-counsel.
Attorney Ambrose states that the allegations
are "devoid of merit," and that Stephanie
Domitrovich "is on the bench today,
she will be on the bench tomorrow,
she will be on the bench the day afterward,
and she will continue to make rulings and
decisions that effect individuals lives . . . with the
same standard of care that she has for 25 years."
August 23rd, 2014
Judge Domitrovich is offered a deal to retire from the bench and walk away to save face. She and Attorney Ambrose, realizing the accusations were unwarranted in the first place, decide to deny the offer and take on the Judicial Conduct Board to defend Judge Domitrovich's judicial legacy.
Sept. 29th, 2014
Throughout the ordeal the Judicial Conduct Board was determined to have her suspended from her position as judge while the accusations were dealt with. On September 29th, 2015 both sides had lengthy oral arguments in front of the eight member panel. When the dust settled, the suspension was denied and Judge Domitrovich remained on the bench that day, the next day, and the day after that, just as Attorney Ambrose had predicted.
Sept. 17th, 2015
Leonard Ambrose petitioned the court to enact a new type of mentorship program called the Judicial Diversion Program, it would be for judges that face only ethical accusations and not criminal ones. On September 17th, 2015, the Court of Judicial Discipline agreed with Mr. Ambrose that such a measure would be appropriate. Thus, new precedent was made, and she was placed in this new program and assigned a mentor to evaluate her behavior.
August 15th, 2016
After one year in the mentorship program, Judge Domitrovich seemed to have won over both the Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline. At a hearing on August 15th, 2016, a prosecutor for the Judicial Conduct Board even stated that they would not oppose dismissing her case.
August 31st, 2016
Jude Domitrovich's case was dismissed outright, having never been suspended from the bench in any capacity throughout the process. New precedent was created to help allow judges not accused of criminal conduct to undertake a diversion program. And, as Attorney Ambrose boldly predicted two years prior, Stephanie Domitrovich remains a judge to this day, continuing to make rulings and decisions that effect peoples lives with an unwavering standard of care.