The Commission on Judicial Conduct announced on December 4, 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court censured Pima County Justice of the Peace Paula Aboud for misconduct while in office.
During the January 2017 Limited Jurisdiction New Judge Orientation, Judge Aboud took a copy of an assessment and answer key that belonged to her mentor, Judge James Sampanes. The assessment and answer key were for an assessment to be administered the following day. Judge Sampanes witnessed Judge Aboud take his copy from an adjoining room. At a later date and time, Judge Aboud admitted that she had taken the assessment/answer key in an attempt to play a prank on Judge Sampanes.
A formal hearing was held on September 18, 2017. Thereafter, the commission-appointed hearing officer, the Honorable Lawrence Winthrop, Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, issued his findings of facts, conclusions of law, and recommendations. Judge Winthrop found that Judge Aboud’s conduct violated Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 2.8(B) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and recommended that she be censured and ordered to complete additional ethics training, as well as pay the Commission’s fees and costs in this matter.
Judge Winthrop’s findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations were adopted by the Commission, which recommended that the Arizona Supreme Court adopt them as well.
The Arizona Supreme Court’s order is final.