Unethical actions of a judge expose problems with municipal courts
MINOT, N.D. — Ashley Beall is a lawyer, a professor at Minot State University, and a municipal court judge for the City of Minot.
Last year one of her students came to her alleging that she had been sexually assaulted while at a party at North Dakota State University. This set off a chain of events in which Beall would act as the student’s attorney and, according to the attorney for the accused, use her title as a judge to get an investigating law enforcement officer fired for allegedly making victim-blaming comments.
The defense says Beall’s actions had a chilling effect on other officers who shied away from a thorough investigation lest they, too, be accused of victim-blaming by someone with the title “judge.”
Beall unsuccessfully fought a subpoena to give evidence in that case.
Whatever comes of those proceedings, one thing is clear: North Dakota’s municipal courts have big problems.