Federal judge in Oklahoma may be questioned about possible ethical violations
Friday, February 3rd 2006, 6:37 am
News On 6
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma federal judge in line for a federal appeals court position will be questioned about possible ethical violations.
Tracy Schmaler is a spokeswoman for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Schmaler says US District Judge James Payne of Muskogee will likely be quizzed about a news report from Salon.com that said he's issued about 100 court orders in 18 cases involving corporation in which he owned stock.
Schmaler said judicial ethics has always been a line of inquiry that interests Leahy, who recently introduced legislation on the topic.
Payne has declined comment.
The Judiciary Committee hasn't set a hearing date.
President Bush last fall nominated Payne to fill a vacancy on the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals, which Oklahoma and five other states.