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THE NATION

Ethics Charge Against Judge Is Dismissed

September 19, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has dismissed an ethics complaint filed against a judge whose ruling opened up nearly a third of national forests to timber cutting and other development.

Two watchdog groups had complained that U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer of Wyoming owns stock or royalty interests in 15 oil and gas companies that could be affected by a July 14 decision invalidating the so-called roadless rule.

The rule, issued in the final days of the Clinton administration, limits timber harvesting and other development on 58 million acres of forest land controlled by the Forest Service.

Brimmer's decision would open the land to oil, gas and mineral exploration.

In dismissing the complaint last week, Chief Judge Deanell Tacha of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said she could find no basis for the allegations.

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