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Family Judge Fired
September 18, 2009 permalink
When you are unhappy with the judge in your case, would you like to have him fired? In Oregon DHS did just that. Following unfavorable rulings from judge Deanne Darling, Oregon's attorney general has taken her off child welfare cases.
AG pulls judge from child-welfare cases
Story Published: Sep 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM PDT, Story Updated: Sep 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM PDT, By Anna Song KATU News and KATU.com Staff
A Clackamas County judge was pulled off child-welfare cases Wednesday in what is likely an unprecedented move by Oregon’s attorney general.
A spokesman for Oregon Attorney General John Kroger said Judge Deanne Darling will no longer hear cases that involve the Department of Human Services arguing for the welfare of children, because he said the state wasn’t being treated fairly in her courtroom.
“The only thing that was taken into consideration was the safety of children and the feeling that we could not get a fair and impartial hearing in front of Judge Darling,” said Tony Green, spokesman for the attorney general.
In a recent case, Darling ordered the DHS to bail accused rapist Russell Hamblen out of jail with $50,000 in public money. She argued that he needed to take care of his 13-year-old son.
Police said Hamblen worked with his 18-year-old son to lure teenage girls to their Wilsonville home to sexually assault them.
The Oregon Court of Appeals, however, overturned the ruling in January.
Darling is also the same judge who allowed the teenage daughter of convicted killer Ward Weaver to visit him in jail as he awaited trial for murdering Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.
Clackamas County’s presiding judge, Steven Maurer, met with Kroger last week and agreed to take Darling off any new child welfare cases.
“As a court we’re very proud of the work Judge Darling has done in the community in support of families and children,” he said. “We are disappointed that the attorney general has taken this course and feels it’s appropriate. But by the same token, we also respect the fact that he’s indicated that this is something that he has decided in good faith needs to be done.”
The law dictates that Darling continue to oversee the cases already assigned to her.
An attorney familiar with juvenile court said he is saddened that this has happened and said Darling is one of the hardest working judges he knows.
Darling did not return phone calls Thursday for comment.
Source: KATU-TV Portland