Fayette County judge suspended for a week for misconduct

Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 2:56 PM EDT
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The Judicial Conduct Commission has suspended a Fayette County judge for unfairly granting custody of a child.

According to the commission, Judge Kathy W. Stein was approached by Charles Joseph Schindler on Dec. 4, 2015. Schindler asked for an order granting him immediate temporary custody of the child.

Stein granted the order without a hearing or giving the mother, Carlie Simone Schindler, an opportunity to respond, according to the commission.

The commission says Stein then participated in a phone conference with the father, his legal counsel, and the child's school, saying Schindler was allowed to pick up the child. Stein also told the school administrator that the mother didn't need to be informed of the order.

When the father picked up the child, he claimed they were going to a counseling session. Instead, he took the child to Mississippi where they stayed until the Court of Appeals ordered he return the child to Kentucky in January.

The Judicial Conduct Commission has suspended Stein for one week for "failing to accord every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding the right to be heard" and for "failing to maintain high standards of conduct and by failing to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary."

Stein agreed to sign the suspension order without a formal hearing before the commission. Her suspension runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.