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 UniversityThis 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.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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