Palmer judge faces suspension over pay flap

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

A commission that oversees the conduct of state judges is recommending a 45-day suspension without pay for a Palmer judge.

Reports say the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended to the Alaska Supreme Court the suspension of William Estelle for signing affidavits claiming payments for cases that had not been decided in a timely manner.

Judges are required to decide or complete cases within six months. However, the commission says Estelle took over six months to complete three cases between 2011 and 2013. In two of those cases, he prematurely collected payment.

Estelle reported the incorrect payments to the commission. He has 30 days to respond once the high court completes its paperwork process.