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Renfer Sent Judicial Report

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RALEIGH — Wake County District Court Judge SusanRenfer and the seven-member Judicial Standards Commission now know thepanel's recommendation; the public may learn it next week if Renfer goesahead with plans to issue a statement.

Reached at home Friday, Renfer confirmed that the panel'srecommendation had been delivered to her. She would not reveal what itwas.

"I have forwarded (the recommendation) to my attorney. We're in theprocess of reviewing it. I plan to make a statement as soon as possible,hopefully early next week," she said.

Renfer has been the focus of various complaints about her conduct inthe courtroom, and they culminated with the matter being heard in Octoberby the Judicial Standards Commission.

Following a year's investigation, in May the commission had issued an11-page bill of particulars charging that Renfer had brought "disrepute"on her office.

Among the grievances: that Renfer yanked at a lawyer's blouse that shethought was too revealing; berated a Republican lawyer in court for votingfor her opponent; drove court clerks to tears with belittling remarks, andthat she denied a man's request for a lawyer and declared him guiltywithout calling any witnesses.

In reaching its recommendation, the commission has various options,which range from reprimand to removal from office.

Renfer has 10 days to ask for changes to the commission's record of hercase.

The Judicial Standards Commission will deliver its recommendation Nov.26 to the N.C. Supreme Court, which will eventually make the finaldecision in the case.

The Judicial Standards Commission is prohibited from revealing its ownrecommendations.

Renfer was elected District Judge in 1994. She was the firstRepublican in decades to win a Wake County judgeship, and her supportershave contended that the accusations are politically motivated. She is agraduate of the University of Virginia law school.

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