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Judge Who Smoked Pot at Concert Is Suspended

September 28, 2003|From Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The state Supreme Court has suspended a judge who was spotted smoking marijuana at a rock concert after he admitted during a misconduct investigation that he did so about twice a year.

A woman told court officials last October that she saw District Judge Thomas Gilbert smoke a joint at a concert in Detroit, 250 miles from Traverse City, where Gilbert works.

The woman was from Elk Rapids, a town near Traverse City that is in Gilbert's district.

In an order last week, the state Supreme Court decided to suspend Gilbert for six months without pay.

Gilbert apologized in a written statement and blamed alcoholism for his drug use. He said he did not plan to resign.

"The citizens put me here to do a job, and God willing I will do it to the best of my ability until it is done," wrote Gilbert, whose term ends in 2004.

Gilbert spent time in a rehabilitation facility, then returned to the bench with a restricted case load that did not include drunk driving or marijuana possession cases. That restriction was to expire Oct. 1.

The suspension went into effect Thursday.

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