Washoe Family Court Judge David Humke suspended and fined for neglect of duties
Special to the Appeal
Washoe Family Court Judge David Humke, a former state Assemblyman and County Commissioner, was suspended without pay for three months and fined $1,000 for neglecting his judicial duties by failing to handle child support cases and other work.
The state Commission on Judicial Discipline Monday filed a consent order in which Humke admits to the four-count complaint filed in January. He was ordered to attend a class of case management at his own expense. The commission warned failure to abide by the stipulation could lead to his removal from the office he has held since 2014.
The complaint said Humke’s office processed only 62 cases at the end of November 2016 while other courts had handled more than 700.
“Judge Humke’s department also neglected to process large volumes of child support hearing master recommendations as well as court orders for, among other issues, child support enforcement and failed to act on other matters within the deadlines,” the decree states.
The commission cited him for the hiring of Mitchell Wright as his judicial assistant over the objection of the chief judge in Washoe County. Wright had been reprimanded by the State Bar for carrying a concealed gun into a court proceeding in which he was involved.
Humke, according to the consent decree, failed to supervise Wright who failed to process orders sending 172 parents to jail for not appearing in child support cases.
Wright was fired by the late Chief Judge Patrick Flanagan in January 2017.
The complaint said Humke didn’t attend a meeting with other judges and accept their counseling; failed to submit timely reports on cases processed and was absent from his office when parents tried to contact him for emergency orders. The complaint also said he failed to return phone calls and emails for five days when the commission investigator tried to contact him.
Humke admitted he made a mistake in trusting Wright and it was due to “misguided loyalty.”
He agreed to be suspended without pay for three months beginning July 1, pay a $1,000 fine to a lawful charity and take a course in case management at the National Judicial College at his own expense. He also agreed the evidence presented to the commission shows he violated the judicial code of conduct.