OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR/AP) – An Oklahoma County judge who is facing charges for failing to pay state taxes will no longer be able to preside over criminal trials.
In September, it came to light that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater was demanding that Oklahoma County District Judge Kendra Coleman step back from ruling on criminal cases.
According to a motion filed by Prater, he claimed that Coleman “intentionally violated” ethics rules by failing to report final campaign contributions.
However, Coleman’s attorney said it was a simple mistake because reporting campaign finances can be complex.
“Especially for first-time candidates, and people make mistakes. They get behind, but it doesn’t mean that they’re hiding anything,” Geoffrey Long, Coleman’s campaign finance attorney, told News 4.
Prater disagrees, saying she has “actively concealed the sources of contributions” and alleges that she is “bent on returning campaign favors” for defendants represented by campaign donors.
In September, Coleman was indicted by a multicounty grand jury for failing to file her income tax returns from 2015 through 2018. Officials allege that she owes tens of thousands of dollars in delinquent taxes.
In October, she was charged with felony tax evasion, but her attorney told News 4 they were working with the IRS to pay any outstanding taxes.
According to a previously filed probable cause affidavit, investigators say Coleman did appear to file extensions for her taxes but did not "pay the taxes she owed to the Oklahoma Tax Commission."
Defense attorneys are working to have those tax evasion charges dismissed.
Late last year, she was admonished by the Oklahoma Supreme Court for failing to pay her taxes and parking tickets. Last month, she was found in contempt by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.
Now, it appears that she is being removed from presiding over criminal cases.
According to the Associated Press, Coleman will handle victim protective order and mental health cases.