Oklahoma Co. Judge Denies Prosecutors Motion For Her Removal From Bench
An Oklahoma County judge accused of ethics violations, tax evasion and allegedly calling Oklahoma County prosecutors racist appeared in court on Thursday.
Judge Kendra Coleman oversaw the hearing to have her recused from the bench.
Judge Coleman greeted prosecutors and courtroom spectators with a smile. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said the judge knew the outcome of the hearing before they even started.
Coleman ultimately denied the district attorney’s demands that she be removed from the bench.
“She wrote out everything,” said DA Prater. “Her conclusions of law, her findings of facts and exactly what she was going to do.”
For that reason, Prater does not believe they were given a fair hearing.
Prater first brought in a witness from the State of Oklahoma Ethics Commission to testify about Coleman's campaign donations. The witness confirmed that Coleman filed a final campaign report late, only hours before the recusal hearing. The report included donor contributions, including $1,000 from a local attorney who held a manslaughter case in her courtroom.
Coleman then denied prosecutors to present evidence of her alleged state and federal tax evasion. The judge was arrested and charged earlier this week with four counts of failing to file state taxes.
“She’s aware of the indictment and she’s aware of the almost $100,000 in tax liens and warrants that are filed in the Oklahoma County District Court at this time,” said Prater.
The state's final witness, a county district judge took the stand for alleged comments Coleman made to him calling Prater and his staff racist. The judge refused to answer most of his questions.
“He’s a fact witness and knows exactly what I was asking and why I was asking it,” said Prater. “I believe we will get a ruling that will overcome his attempt to not testify.”
The Oklahoma District Attorney's Office now plans to file an appeal.
“She again, we believe evidenced her bias by not allowing us to proceed on everything today,” said Prater. “But we made our record, filed our new motion and we move forward.”
Judge Coleman did not offer a comment after the hearing. Coleman and her attorney filed on Thursday court papers stating the tax indictment is false and that she has paid her taxes.