A state District Court judge in Anchorage who faces an ethics complaint against him denies a mental illness and says any anxiety he exhibited to fellow court personnel was because of discrimination in the workplace, according to his response to the Commission on Judicial Conduct filed this week.
Judge Richard Postma denies all the allegations in the April complaint and is asking for it to be dismissed, according to his lawyer, Thomas Van Flein.
The Judicial Conduct Commission in its complaint said the 44-year-old Postma suffers from a mental illness, which it did not specify. The complaint does not allege misconduct on the bench -- or criminal conduct, substance abuse or ethical impropriety. It is unclear from the public documents what led the commission to file its complaint.
Van Flein wrote that his client has an above-average reputation and record as a judge. He said the allegations are beyond the scope of the commission. "Accusing a judge of a mental illness because the judge sought corrective action for a perceived wrong, if this is what occurred, is inappropriate and an abuse of authority," he wrote.
"While the commission has historically addressed improper courtroom behavior by a judge, as it should, it has not intervened in what appears to be personality conflicts among judges or court personnel. Nor should it as this has not and could not impact the public."
Postma, who is Hispanic, says the complaint against him stems from a complaint he filed against another court employee for "actions that appeared racially or ethically biased against Judge Postma and his in-court personnel," Van Flein wrote.
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