Who watches our judges? Missouri operates a secretive commission

FOX Files
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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Even many judges have asked about the secretive watchdog commission that oversees Judges.  A previous investigation by the FOX Files found former Ferguson Judge Ron Brockmeyer could`ve been disciplined years ago.  Instead, the judge slipped through the cracks of a secret inquiry.

It was nearly five years ago when we exposed a politician who admitted calling Brockmeyer.  Former Bel-Ridge Trustee Patricia Armanees feared an arrest warrant and $3,000 in court fees.  After she called the judge, the warrant disappeared.  A deposition and records obtained by the FOX Files, revealed a cancelled warrant, with no explanation.

Then Armanees appeared to return a favor to Judge Brockmeyer.  In an audio from a 2010 Bel-Ridge trustee meeting you can hear Armanees say, 'I would like to make the motion to appoint Ron Brockmeyer for the judge.'

A formal complaint was filed against Ron Brockmeyer in 2011.  The complaint went to the Missouri Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline.  It`s a panel of judges, lawyers and a Baptist minister that currently sits on the commission.  They won`t provide a list of Judges disciplined or removed and I`m told only the chairman can talk to me.  He`s out of the state for the next three weeks.

Judge discipline is extremely rare.  A Supreme Court spokesperson thought the Commission has only reprimanded four judges in 20 years.  The most recent, was St. Louis Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles in 2012.

In the case of Brockmeyer, he kept the Ferguson job, but was removed from the Bel-Ridge bench in 2011.  He was not removed because of any involvement by the Judicial Commission.  He was only removed because another judge sued and won in civil court.

Ron Brockmeyer resigned as a Ferguson judge after a Department of Justice report alleged Brockmeyer helped fuel a revenue generating machine.  Brockmeyer resigned four other posts where he served as either Judge or prosecutor.

Follow Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV


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