A judge in Kentucky who was accused of having sex and drinking alcohol inside a courthouse has lost her job after a judicial panel found her guilty of multiple misconduct charges.
Dawn Gentry, serving an eight-year term as a family court judge in Kenton County, is also accused of retaliating against those who denied her sex or refused to contribute to her 2018 campaign by delaying their cases, including some that involved abused children.
The Judicial Conduct Commission of the Commonwealth of Kentucky found that “Gentry forced a court employee to resign so she could hire an alleged sexual partner”, identified as Stephen Penrose.
The panel wrote in a report published that “She then engaged in sexual activity with Penrose and one of her secretaries inside a courthouse office during work hours and allowed him to spend his shifts playing his guitar, singing in his office and drinking alcoholic beverages.”
“This romantic relationship with Mr. Penrose included him sending her photographs of his genitals, crude jokes, and at least one romantic message, and engaging in simulated sexual activity with Mr. Penrose and Ms. Aubrey in a courthouse office, during work hours,” according to the document.
The 39-year-old woman became a judge in 2016 when she was picked by former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to fill a vacancy, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
She then ran for the post two years later and was elected for a full term, earning an annual salary of about $137,000, according to the paper.
Gentry now has 10 days to appeal the decision, which her attorney has vowed to do.
“She should remain doing the work she was elected to do, and did well,” defense attorney Jeff Lawson told the Enquirer in a statement that described her removal as “the equivalent of the judicial death penalty.”