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Orphan’s Court judge facing discipline for March DUI arrest

Orphan’s Court judge facing discipline for March DUI arrest

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A Kent County Orphan’s Court judge who was charged with driving under the influence earlier this year but retained her seat in the election is facing disciplinary action.

Judge Amy L. Nickerson received probation before judgment in July on one count of driving while impaired and was placed on one year of supervised probation. Nickerson was also found guilty of reckless and negligent driving.

The arrest occurred March 9 when she was stopped for speeding in Rock Hall, according to charges issued by the Commission on Judicial Disabilities.

The commission determined Nickerson’s actions constituted “conduct that was prejudicial to the proper administration of justice in Maryland” and charged her with violating the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct in October. The charges were made public Friday after Nickerson filed a response.

Nickerson, who is representing herself in the proceedings, admitted to all of the allegations in the charges and added that she “sincerely apologizes to the citizens of Kent County and the State of Maryland for her conduct and actions.” She agreed that the charges and subsequent probation constitute sanctionable conduct.

She also pointed out that despite the publicity her arrest and trial brought, voters still elected her to a second term on the primary and general election ballots.

Calling the incident “isolated and not a pattern or routine behavior,” Nickerson said she would consent to an appropriate reprimand, either private or public.

Nickerson declined to comment further Friday.

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