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Complaint Against Judge Kendall Reaches Territorial Commission

May 7, 2007 — The Commission on Judicial Disabilities has received one of two formal complaints against V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall.
Commission chairman Sen. Ronald Russell said Monday that he received the 53-page formal complaint from Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group last week. (See "Judicial Watchdog Group Files Complaint Against Kendall.")
Complaints to the commission are sent to the V.I. administrator of the Superior Court, Glenda Lake, who then forwards them to the commission. She confirmed Monday that she forwarded the complaint to the commission May 3. The commission normally meets in an office in the Superior Court building, Lake said.
The five-member commission has four sitting members. Other members are attorney Andrew Capdeville, Robert O'Connor and local labor leader Luis "Tito" Morales. Members to the commission are appointed by three entities: two by the governor; two by the Senate president and one by the V.I. Bar Association president.
The current vacancy falls under the aegis of the Senate president. Caught on the run Monday, Sen Usie Richards, 27th Legislature president, said, "I don't know anything about that."
The commission will send information regarding appointments to the commission to the "requisite authorities," Russell said, adding, "We do that every year to keep people abreast of our status." The vacant seat will not affect the commission's ability to act on a complaint, he added.
Under the rules and procedures of the commission, a grievance or complaint should have a preliminary review not more than five days after its receipt. After preliminary review, the commission is to issue an initial response to the parties. After that, the commission may further investigate the complaints, schedule a hearing or provide any relief necessary.
Russell was reluctant on Monday to name a date the commission would meet on the complaint, but said, "We are following the rules."
A second complaint filed jointly by the Women's Coalition of St. Croix and the V.I. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council was submitted to the commission Friday. Russell didn't acknowledge its receipt Monday. He did say the commission was "working on a review of the documents it has received."
Rules and procedures of the commission state that all meetings are closed and confidential.
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