Judge Farley Toothman

Farley Toothman

The legal teams of a Greene County judge and the state Judicial Conduct Board have been granted additional time to prepare information for the state Court of Judicial Discipline.

Conference Judge Jazelle M. Jones of Philadelphia, who was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Court of Judicial Discipline in 2017, issued an order Tuesday changing the schedule in the case of Farley Toothman of Waynesburg.

Pre-trial memoranda, which will include information about witnesses and evidence, now have a new deadline of Jan. 14. A pretrial conference call is to follow on Jan. 19.

Toothman, who was accused earlier this year of judicial misconduct, is on a leave of absence from the Greene County bench until at least Dec. 18. His absence came in the wake of accusations of judicial misconduct while he was president judge.

In May, the state Court of Judicial Discipline filed a 21-count complaint against him, accusing him of violating the state Constitution and code of judicial conduct. He could be facing a fine, censure, suspension or removal from office.

The 64-year-old jurist is accused of judicial misconduct in the handling of several cases, including one in which he allegedly interfered with a retail theft investigation into his law clerk at a Waynesburg convenience store in 2017.

He also is accused of interfering with a county probation staff meeting to learn who was handling the probation for a woman, who accused his law clerk of shoplifting at that store, involved in an unrelated lower court case. He sentenced the woman, who was performing community service at the time, to a month in jail for unpaid fines.

Other complaints against him include retaliating against a janitorial employee, and improperly handling a case involving the division of marital property and another over a protection from abuse.

His original announcement to take a temporary leave of absence in early October came less than two months after the state Court of Judicial Discipline declined to allow him to enter a diversionary program for judicial misconduct.

Toothman resigned as president judge on Oct. 31, making way for Judge Lou Dayich to be elevated to that position. Toothman has also announced he does not plan to run for another 10-year term when he is up for retention next year.

Candidates who would be nominated in a May 18, 2021, primary would likely face a filing deadline of March 9, although the Pennsylvania Department of State website does not yet list next year’s election calendar.

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