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Questions raised over judge's actions

1 year 9 months 2 weeks ago February 16, 2015 Feb 16, 2015 Monday, February 16 2015 February 16, 2015 5:51 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

BAKER - A group of residents in Baker claim they are being intimidated by a City Court judge.

The group claimed Judge Kirk Williams is doing so because his wife, Shona Boxie Williams, is a school board member who is the group's target for a recall petition. They said the judge is demanding the names of those who have signed the petition against his wife.

The Investigative Unit has learned federal agents are aware of this situation.

Last week, the judge's own bailiff and clerk of court showed up at the car of the woman who wants the recall. They were demanding that she turn over the signed recall petitions to them.

The Investigative Unit was there as Clerk of Court Bridget Dawson approached the car of the woman who is trying to have three school board members recalled. The petitioner said it was the second time a city employee showed up at her vehicle, demanding names of people who support a potential recall.

"I'm being harrassed and intimidated on the tax payers' time, on their dollar," Jerrie Williams said.

She started the recall effort this month against three school board members, including the judge's wife. A few days later she said the bailiff working for the Judge showed up at her car, trying to get the recall petitions.

"He did have his badges on," Jerrie Williams said. "His behavior, I feel like it was very inappropriate."

Following that encounter, Williams received an email which said, "Please find attached copies of the public records requests that were personally given to you." It was signed by Judge Williams.

The Investigative Unit asked Judge Williams why city employees were being used to get documents involving a personal matter.

"A citizen of Baker went out," Judge Kirk Williams said. "We are all citizens of Baker."

News 2 asked who sent them, since private citizens don't typically have access to bailiffs and clerks to get public records from people.

"Understand as I said, if someone went out and represented themselves as an employee of Baker City Court or on behalf of Baker City Court, they did that in error," Williams said.

On the day News 2 recorded the clerk going to the recall chairwoman's car, less than two hours later another email was sent to her that was signed by the Judge. Williams claimed he didn't send an email, but it did come from his law office and was signed by him.

When we asked again who sent that email the judge responded that it was "someone in my office."

The Secretary of State's Office says the chairperson of a recall effort is subject to public records requests. Numerous legal experts we talked to did not want to go on camera, but said there could be some problems for the judge getting involved when his wife is the focus of the recall effort.

"I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing," Judge Williams told News 2.

As the recall effort continues, Jerrie Williams said she won't be deterred by what she called "intimidation tactics."

"With this second email, I want to serve notice that I am being harassed by our city judge, and for what reason I don't know," Jerrie Williams said.

The man who initially requested the names on the recall petition is Mitch Jackson. Authorities arrested him last week on numerous drugs and weapons charges. Judge Williams stopped short of saying he's representing him as an attorney on those charges, but did say that Jackson maintains his innocence.

Calls to the Ethics Board and State Judiciary Commission over this matter were not returned by news time.

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