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Nation IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON STATE

Judge, Said to Drink With Jurors, Quits

April 08, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

A municipal judge in Lakewood quit after state authorities charged he drank beer while a jury was deliberating a drunken-driving case and then asked jurors to stay and join him for a "cold one." In his resignation letter, Lakewood Municipal Judge Ralph Baldwin apologized for his conduct, which he said stemmed from a "misguided sense of congeniality and extremely poor judgment." A complaint filed by the state says Baldwin was presiding over the second day of a two-day trial in February when he left court and returned with a 12-pack. Baldwin allegedly then offered beers to attorneys and the court administrator, calling her a "wimp" when she refused.

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