Testimony wraps up for trial to remove Oklahoma Co. Judge from office

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Judge Kendra Coleman took the stand for the second day in defense of her seat on the bench.

For two and a half weeks now, the Oklahoma County District Court judge has been on trial.

On Thursday, a group of her supporters gathered for a prayer rally at the location of the trial, the State Supreme Court.

Judge Coleman promoted the rally on her Facebook page and it is one of the examples prosecutors used to show she acts inappropriately on Thursday.

Prosecutors said that promoting the rally violates ethics rules.

“The relevance is, she is required to act to the code of judicial conduct,” said prosecutor Tracy Schumacher.

The judges agreed with Judge Coleman’s attorney that it’s not relevant, but prosecutors brought up other ethics issues, including months-late campaign filings, and campaign expenditures made before they were allowed.

The judge’s attorney, Joe White, arguing that she tried to do the right thing but was confused about what to file when.

Prosecutors pointed out the more than $100,000 Judge Coleman owes in taxes, and asked her about alleged unfair treatment of people she threw in jail on contempt of court.

“A judge has authority to maintain order in a courtroom,” Judge Coleman said. “I needed him removed to maintain order. If there was a mistake in the hearing being held Thursday as opposed to Tuesday, then I apologize, and I’ve learned that now.”

Prosecutors argued that while Judge Coleman said she represents a community, there are in fact severe people of color on the bench.

“And regardless of it’s you or someone else, your seat is one of the two carved out for there to be an African American judge, correct?” Schumacher said.

“It’s not carved out for an African American judge. Roma McElwee sat in this seat and she is not African American. It is a carved out district that encompasses a significant portion of an area where minorities live,” Judge Coleman replied.

Judge Aletia Timmons testified that when she first started on the bench, she also experienced a great deal of disrespect.

Judge Coleman’s team has made this claim since the beginning of the trial.

“Why are these people not respecting you? Why are the lawyers and litigants not respecting you on the bench?” Schumacher asked at the end of her redirect questioning.

“I wonder the same thing,” Judge Coleman replied.

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