Supreme Court Reprimands Juvenile Court Judge
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday disciplined a Cedar Falls juvenile court judge for a 2010 drunken driving arrest.
The court concluded Daniel Block, 48, had violated judicial ethics rules serious enough to warrant a public reprimand.
Block had attended an evening charity event in Webster City in November 2010 and was stopped for speeding and erratic driving. An open beer can and a glass containing whiskey was found in the car. His blood alcohol level tested at 0.135, exceeding the state's limit of 0.08.
He was jailed and released the following morning.
The court found while he was cooperative throughout and never tried to use his position to change the outcome, he violated code of conduct rules designed to protect the integrity of the court.
Block pleaded guilty and completed a drunken driving education class.
The court said Block has been contrite and honest, accepting responsibility for his actions. He acknowledged his conduct gave the judiciary a "black eye."
Noting the details that led to Block's arrest, the justices concluded his conduct was improper and unacceptable for a judge.
"While the incident appeared to have been isolated and the judge responded to his misstep with the integrity and character befitting the profession, the totality of the conduct prior to the arrest, including the degree of intoxication, erratic driving, and open containers of alcoholic beverages was enough to adversely impact the public confidence in the judiciary," the court said.
While Block had requested a private reprimand, the court concluded the violation of judicial ethics was substantial and therefore justified a public reprimand.
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