A Kentucky circuit judge has been suspended until ethics charges against her are resolved.
Judge Beth Lewis Maze will be suspended with pay beginning Oct. 2, according to an order released Monday by the state Judicial Conduct Commission. Maze agreed to the suspension, according to the order.
She is circuit judge for Rowan, Bath, Montgomery and Menifee counties.
The conduct commission initially charged that Maze violated ethics rules in signing orders for her ex-husband, Donald “Champ” Maze, to have drug tests after he was arrested in September 2017 on a number of charges, including drug possession.
Judge Maze acknowledged contacting Bath County Jailer Earl Willis, a pre-trial release officer and a district judge about the arrest, but denied seeking favorable treatment for her ex-husband.
She said she contacted the other officials to alert them to potential conflicts of interest arising from the case.
Donald Maze served three terms as Bath County attorney before going to federal prison in a vote-buying case from the 2006 election.
The commission later added two more ethics charges against Judge Maze, alleging that she signed the names of other court officials to orders okaying the drug tests, without their knowledge or permission.
The commission charged that Maze broke rules requiring judges to maintain high standards of conduct, to uphold the integrity of the judiciary, and to respect and comply with the law.
Maze said in response to the two additional charges that she completed the orders inadvertently in the same way she did others that were on a different form.
Maze took some old forms to her house when she was cleaning out her office in 2011 “and did not realize the wording on the bottom of the older order was different,” according to her response prepared by Louisville attorney Thomas E. Clay.
Maze said she did not act with the intent to deceive anyone.
It is not clear how long Maze will be off the bench. No date has been set for a hearing on the charges against her.
The commission can impose a range of sanctions on judges, from a private reprimand to removal from office.