Reno judge disciplined for sexist comment
Special to the Appeal
A district judge in Reno has been disciplined for making a sexist comment a woman’s place was in the kitchen and in the bedroom.
The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has ordered District Judge Charles Weller to pay a $2,500 fine, be given a public reprimand and make an apology to those who heard the remark at the meeting of Washoe County Domestic Violence Task Force in February 2017.
But the commission said there was not sufficient evidence to show Weller tried to cover up the incident.
Weller maintained his comments were misinterpreted and referred to federal officials who were talking about the cutback of funding for the program.
The commission said although Weller testified at a disciplinary meeting in August he had no idea the committee members had misunderstood his comments, the commission found the evidence presented by three female members of the task force were “deeply” offended by the remarks.
The commission noted Weller had no prior violations of the judicial code. But the commission ordered Weller to take a course on “Advanced Bench Skills: Procedure Fairness” in Savannah, Ga.
The $2,500 fine will be paid to the Domestic Violence Resource Center. He must send private letters of apology to Task Force members Penelope Colter, Tamara Utzig, Jennifer Olsen and Suzanne Ramos. Ramos is the victim advocate for the Reno City Attorney’s office.
Failure to comply with all the orders could result in suspension, said the commission.
The commission said the comments “had a profound and negative” effect on the three women at the meeting.
Senior District Judge Charles McGee, who submitted a letter supporting Weller said the remarks attributed to Weller “were an unfortunate choice of words”
Judge David Hardy, who wrote a letter to the commission in support of Weller, said the family court judge can sometimes be abrasive and direct and could improve his communication skills.