Judge Answers Ethics Allegation

10-26-05 - A district judge is firing back amid accusations that she ordered employees to break into a justice center office. 336th District Judge Lauri Blake calls the allegations laughable.

District clerk Cyndi Mathis-Spencer filed a complaint with the judicial conduct commission last week. She claims a maintenance worker broke into her office through the ceiling and removed a file, after Judge Lauri Blake told another employee to retrieve the file.

Today Judge Blake shared her side of the story, saying it didn’t happen the way Mathis-Spencer’s letter claimed. The judge says she sent her court coordinator to retrieve the file during normal office hours but the clerk's office was locked. Maintenance was called to open the office.

Judge Blake was trying to get a copy of a "motion to recuse" for her attorney. She says the only reason the maintenance worker went in through the ceiling was because the locks were changed about a year ago and he didn't have a new key to the clerk's office. Judge Blake says the clerk was at home painting her house during normal business hours and had she been at work, the incident would not have occurred.

The file is a public record and even though it is available online, Judge Blake says online records are not always reliable. She believes this incident is just the latest allegation in a smear-campaign against her.

The judicial conduct commission will investigate.