NATIONAL NEWS

Trump-appointed judge in Alaska resigns over sexual misconduct, leaving only 1 judge in state

Jul 10, 2024, 1:31 PM

People walk toward the James M. Fitzgerald U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Anchora...

People walk toward the James M. Fitzgerald U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred of Alaska has resigned and could face impeachment after having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a clerk who later became an assistant U.S. Attorney and then repeatedly lying about it to investigators, a judicial investigation found. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. District Court judge in Alaska has resigned and could face impeachment after having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a clerk who later became an assistant U.S. Attorney and then repeatedly lying about it to investigators, a judicial investigation found.

The resignation by Joshua Kindred leaves the U.S. District Court for Alaska with only one full-time judge.

Kindred sent his resignation letter to President Joe Biden July 3. It was effective Monday.

The resignation came at the request of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Court, which also sent the matter to the Judicial Conference of the United States to consider impeachment proceedings against Kindred.

Kindred, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump in 2020, did not return a message left on his cellphone by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The probe began in November 2022 when Chief Circuit Judge Mary H. Murguia first learned of possible misconduct.

The subsequent investigation by a special committee resulted in a 105-page report and 1,039 pages of exhibits, including 700 pages of text messages between Kindred and his clerks.

The Judicial Council found that Kindred created a hostile workplace environment and “appeared to have no filter” in his discussions with clerks.

“He discussed his past dating life, his romantic preferences, his sex life, the law clerks’ boyfriends and dating lives, his divorce, his interest in and communications with potential romantic or sexual partners, and his disparaging opinions of his colleagues,” the report said.

He also once texted a clerk, “So it looks like I might need a judicial Tinder profile.” Tinder is an online dating app.

The report also notes a close relationship between Kindred and one clerk. Over 11 months, they exchanged enough text messages to fill 278 pages, with only a few tied to her regular duties.

On Oct. 3, 2022, a week after she left the clerk’s position for a job as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Alaska, they went out for drinks. He offered to give her a ride home, but he needed to stop by the courthouse. He invited her to his chambers, where she alleged that he groped and kissed her, the report said.

Four days later, Kindred was moving out of his home, and she threw a pizza party for him. She left, but he texted and said he needed to talk to her. They wound up at her apartment, where they had a sexual encounter, according to the investigation.

The report said Kindred repeatedly lied about both encounters in written responses and during an interview. He admitted to the conduct only when pressed in the interview by Judicial Council members and presented evidence, the report says.

The report found another assistant U.S. Attorney in Alaska sent him nude photographs, and that he spoke about this with clerks. This attorney had practiced before Kindred, unlike the clerk who became an attorney. The report said he also talked with other clerks about suggestive text messages from another local attorney who regularly appeared in his court.

“He undertook all these actions without any regard for the impact of and the ethical issues raised by his conduct,” the report said. “He remains strikingly unaware that he was the source of all these issues.”

With two assistant U.S. attorneys in the Anchorage office mentioned in the report, U.S. Attorney for Alaska S. Tucker Lane did not respond to questions whether there was an investigation underway.

“Our office cannot comment on personnel matters and will not provide any further comment at this time,” spokesperson Reagan Zimmerman said in an email.

U.S. District Chief Judge Sharon Gleason is the only full-time judge now on the Alaska federal bench.

Besides Kindred’s open seat, Alaska’s third judicial position has been vacant since Dec. 31, 2021, when U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess went to senior status.

There are four other senior judges, who are U.S. District judges who normally take a reduced caseload.

Kindred was assigned to 77 open criminal cases and 148 civil cases. All will be reassigned to Gleason except for seven cases in the Juneau division, which will be assigned to Burgess.

Alaska also has two active full-time magistrate judges, one recalled magistrate and another on part-time status. Only district judges can preside over a felony criminal trial, but magistrate judges can preside over civil trials if all parties agree, according to the U.S. District Court clerk’s office.

National News

FILE - Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the former armorer for the Western film "Rust," listens to closing ar...

Associated Press

Movie armorer seeks dismissal of her conviction or new trial in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A movie armorer has asked a judge to dismiss her involuntary manslaughter conviction or convene a new trial in the shooting death of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, alleging suppression of evidence and misconduct by the prosecution. In a court filing Tuesday, defense counsel for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed argued […]

10 minutes ago

The Butler Farm Show, site of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate former Preside...

Associated Press

Homeland Security inspector general investigates Secret Service handling of security at Trump rally

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says its investigating the U.S. Secret Service’s handling of security for former President Donald Trump on the day a gunman tried to assassinate him at a Pennsylvania rally. The agency says in a brief notice on its website Wednesday the objective is to evaluate the […]

55 minutes ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Republicans shift their gaze to national security as RNC enters third day

The third day of the Republican National Convention kicks off Wednesday with Republicans — led by the newly nominated Donald Trump and his running mate, U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio — shifting their focus to issues of national security and foreign policy. Republicans are expected to focus on Democratic President Joe Biden’s handling of […]

2 hours ago

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., speaks during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, i...

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at ominous claims around illegal immigration made at the Republican convention

After Donald Trump triumphantly entered the hall on the second night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, the program turned to one of his signature issues: illegal immigration. An ominous video of chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border led into to a speech by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who declared, “We are facing […]

2 hours ago

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs poses in Los Angeles, Monday, July 15, 2024. Tubbs says he is r...

Associated Press

Former mayor known for guaranteed income programs launches bid for California lieutenant governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Michael Tubbs is running for lieutenant governor of California, returning to politics four years after voters in his Central Valley hometown ousted him as one of the country’s youngest mayors following his reboot of guaranteed income programs for the poor that made him a star. The 2026 campaign, announced Wednesday, offers […]

4 hours ago

FILE - A logging truck drives on the Interstate 5 bridge that spans the Columbia River and connects...

Associated Press

Aging bridges in 16 states will be improved or replaced with the help of $5B in federal funding

Dozens of aging bridges in 16 states will be replaced or improved with the help of $5 billion in federal grants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden’s administration, the latest beneficiaries of a massive infrastructure law. The projects range from coast to coast, with the largest providing an additional $1.4 billion to help replace two […]

4 hours ago

Trump-appointed judge in Alaska resigns over sexual misconduct, leaving only 1 judge in state