Reno judge reprimanded, fined, but keeps seat

Published: Sep. 20, 2018 at 5:59 PM PDT
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A Washoe District Court judge has been reprimanded, fined $2,500, ordered to write letters of apology and attend training for a comment made at a Feb. 1, 2017, meeting of the Washoe County Domestic Violence Task Force.

Judge Charles Weller

on the bench following the Aug. 30


In a

, the commission found there was not enough evidence to support allegations that Weller failed to be patient, courteous and dignified and that he failed to act without bias.

Weller lawyer David Houston said he’s glad the commission did not find enough evidence to support two allegations against Weller. Houston said Weller will decide if he wants to appeal the finding on one charge.

Weller was at the meeting as an unofficial liaison with family court and the Trump administration had proposed cutting money from the Violence Against Women Act.

Weller made a comment that women should be concerned about this proposal because it would set back women's rights, putting them back where some thought they belonged--in the kitchen and bedroom. Weller said he meant the comment as representing the views of decision makers in Washington, D.C. Others at the meeting did not take it that way.

Weller told the commission he apologized to all.

The commission said at least three women at the task force meeting were deeply offended by the comment.

“Although (Weller) apologized, some felt that his apology was not sincere because (Weller) appeared to blame others for misinterpreting his comments, or for coming across as being more concerned about how Weller himself would be affected by this matter, rather than being truly apologetic for making the comments in the first instance,” the commission wrote.

Weller’s word choice indicates a lack of sensitivity and a communication deficit, the commission wrote.

“The imposition of discipline further serves the function of discouraging future misconduct by the disciplined judge, as well as the judiciary as a whole,” the commission ruled. “Accordingly, the purpose of the Commission’s decision in this case is to protect the public by issuing a public reprimand, imposing a fine, requiring written letters of apology and the completion of an educational course, thereby rehabilitating Respondent and restoring the public’s faith in the judiciary.”