Connecticut Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield was suspended from the bench for 8 months during her hearing before the Judicial Review Council on Monday. Back in October Cofield was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to Glastonbury police headquarters.
Here is where she acted out of character, according to her supporters, and used racial slurs against her arresting officers. While it seems public opinion of Judge Cofield was generally positive, there are many who think her suspension is too lenient.
According to the New Haven Register, the judge had a blood alcohol content of .17, twice the legal limit in Connecticut, at the time of her arrest. She refused to sign documents and called the police names. She insulted their intelligence and told them she was smarter than them.
Judge Cofield was confirmed to the bench in 1991 as the state's first black female judge. She has served since that time and maintained a clean record of applying and interpreting the law. When she went in front of the council on Monday, the room was filled, mostly with her supporters.
Like all humans, it seems Cofield was going through some stress at the time of the arrest. She had recently lost her father, her mother's home had burned down, and she was experiencing marital problems. While any one of these could cause undue stress, certainly all three seemed to push her over the edge.
The council could have suspended her for only 60 days or up to 1 year. They also could have asked that the state Supreme Court permanently remove her from the bench. They, instead, settled on an 8 month suspension for this behavior that they determined violated the code of judicial behavior of 5 counts.
Although the article doesn't reference if the judge was convicted on her DUI charge, there are several punishments she could be facing for that criminal charge.
In Connecticut a DUI can land you an immediate driver's license suspension, jail time, and fines. Depending on your record you could face up to 3 years in jail for a DUI charge. If you or someone you know is in need of an experienced DUI attorney in CT, contact us.