The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a King County judge this week for offering the equivalent of a “one day special” in her courtroom.
On April 26, 2013, Judge Victoria Seitz had a full docket in the King County District Court.
In order to clear cases, Seitz offered anyone charged with driving with a suspended license in the third degree a deal: plead guilty that day and get either a $248 fine or 25 hours of community service.
A dozen defendants took advantage of the offer.
During the proceedings the prosecutor objected. The defense attorney in the court that day also advised each defendant not to take the deal.
This week the State Commission wrote that by offering defendants a specific outcome in exchange for a guilty plea that afternoon, the judge undermined her impartiality and public confidence in the integrity of the judicial process.
Seitz told the Commission that overwork and constantly crowded dockets affected her judgment that day. She was ordered to take ethics training.