Wake County Judge Responds to Complaint
Posted June 3, 1996
RALEIGH (AP) — June 4, 1996 - 11:17 a.m. EDT
Fighting to keep her job, a Wake County judge said that a complaint against her is a political effort to destroy her.
District Court Judge Susan Renfer filed her official response to a complaint before the state's Judicial Standards Commission shortly before noon Monday.
The complaint accuses Renfer of misapplying the law, overstepping her authority and making slurs against blacks working for the courts and battered women.
Renfer answered the complaint with a blanket denial, an indication that she plans to fight each charge during a commission hearing.
In the written response filed by Renfer, she denied that she made any statements or acts that show misconduct in office. She said she had carried out her duties ethically and in a dignified manner.
``Truth is on my side,'' Renfer said. ``I will rise above all these efforts to tear me down professionally and personally.''
According to the complaint, Renfer has said that women in domestic violence cases most often provoke the attacks.
Other allegations in the complaint include:
Renfer, the first Republican elected to the district court, has irritated courthouse regulars with her style since her election in 1994. Lawyers say she cuts them off in mid-sentence, refuses to hear cases if women lawyers are wearing pants, and tells bailiffs how to do their jobs.
Her supporters say the charges against Renfer are political and that the complaint is part of a deliberate campaign to overturn her election.
The Judicial Standards Commission is expected to schedule a public hearing on the complaint against Renfer as early as September. The seven-member commission can recommend that the state Supreme Court take no action, issue a written reprimand or remove Renfer from the bench.
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