Pima County justice faces misconduct charges after incident with firearm
PHOENIX — Pima County Justice of the Peace Adam W. Watters faces formal misconduct charges, the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Wednesday.
The charges stem form a pair of incidents with a litigant who appeared before and later was convicted of stalking Judge Watters, Fei Qin.
The first confrontation involved Judge Watters discharging a firearm at the pavement in the general vicinity of Qin, according to a press release. That occurred in February 2021.
Judge Watters later used profanity and derogatory comments in October 2021 when served a subpoena to testify in Qin’s criminal case, according to the release.
The statement of charges include violating Rules 1.1 — Compliance with the Law — and 1.2 — Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary — of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct and Article 6.1, Section 4 of the Arizona Constitution, which states, “… may censure, suspend without pay or remove a judge for action by him that constitutes willful misconduct in office.”
The charges must be proven by clear evidence at a formal hearing, which has no set date, for a conviction.
If Judge Watters is found guilty, he could face a public reprimand, censure, suspension without pay or removal from office.
A suspension or removal recommendation would be subject to review by the Arizona Supreme Court. Censures are final.
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