Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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WBR judge faces sanctions over free trip

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BATON ROUGE - A judge in West Baton Rouge Parish is under fire for taking an all-expense paid trip to Texas. The judge's mode of transportation for the free trip: a private jet.

The state judiciary commission says Judge Robin Free exploited his position and recommends he be suspended for 30 days without pay.

Since Judge Free took office in 1997, he's been warned, disciplined and reprimanded multiple times. While all those cases were settled privately, this time he needs to answer to the state's highest court.

In 2010, Free took an all-expenses paid trip to a ranch in Texas. He got there on a private jet with a lawyer whose client had just received a million dollar settlement in Free's courtroom.

That didn't sit well with a council that oversees judicial ethics. Its investigation determined that Judge Free may have acted inappropriately.

In harshly worded court documents the commission wrote:

"Judge Free admitted that his conduct tarnished the integrity of, and respect, for the judiciary. Judge Free did exploit his position to satisfy his personal desires."

His discipline hearing will be heard on Oct. 13 in Louisiana Supreme Court.



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