OKLAHOMA CITY - Surfacing tax problems are adding to a growing list of controversies for an Oklahoma County district judge.
Judge Kendra Coleman allegedly owed tens of thousands of dollars in delinquent taxes. This comes as she continues a fight with the district attorney for her position on the bench.
"It's important to remember that people make mistakes," said campaign finance attorney Geoffrey Long. That's how he characterizes some of the problems Judge Coleman is facing.
She was elected in her first run for the position in November 2018.
However, District Attorney David Prater is demanding she step back from criminal cases.
According to a motion he filed, she's "intentionally violated" ethics rules by failing to report final campaign contributions.
Long, one of at least two attorneys Judge Coleman retained said this was simply because reporting campaign finance is complex.
"Especially for first-time candidates," Long said, "and people make mistakes, they get behind, but it doesn't mean that they're hiding anything."
However, Prater alleges she has "actively concealed the sources of contributions."
His motion was filed after prosecutors fought to prevent her from hearing an ongoing case.
It's a case News 4 first reported on in 2017 when an elderly woman was mauled and killed by a vicious dog.
The dog's owner is represented by a defense attorney who was also a major campaign donor for the judge, according to Prater.
Prater writes she is "bent on returning campaign favors" by ruling in favor of the defense.
Now The Oklahoman, which first reported on the controversy, is reporting she owes more than $100,000 in delinquent state and federal taxes. News 4 has confirmed nearly $35,000.
Judge Coleman has already declined to recuse herself during a private hearing. There will be a second, public hearing next week.
News 4 made numerous attempts to reach Judge Coleman for comment by phone and in her office Wednesday but have not heard back.