Eastern Carolina Superior Court Judge Given Public Reprimand

A superior court judge here in Eastern Carolina has been given an official public reprimand after complaints of judicial misconduct.

Dare County Judge Jerry Tillett has agreed not to participate in any legal hearing or proceeding involving the removal or disciplinary action of Kill Devil Hills police or town officials, or the removal of District Attorney Frank Parrish.

The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission says problems between the police department and the judge began shortly after his son was detained by police officers back in April 2010.

Findings of fact in a judicial investigation of the judge said that he tried to get the police chief fired as well as sent an aggressive letter to the assistant town manager. It says the judge "frequently argued" with the D.A. and his staff that it was their duty to file paperwork to remove the chief from office.

The March 8th order says Judge Tillett misused his powers of judicial office which "threatened public faith and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."

In the order Judge Tillett expressed his regret and assured the commission that he will use caution and restraint in the future.