The Investigators: Judge Trudy White's Code of Conduct
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Confronted by cameras from the 9News Investigators,19th Judicial District Judge Trudy White continued to decline questions about her controversial judicial practices.
Judge White repeatedly orders and forces defendants to use a specific home supervision company called RHI. The owner of the company, Cleve Dunn Senior and his son both have done work for White's campaigns for judge. In fact, the owner's son, Cleve Jr., was the head of White's campaign at one point.
Several email exchanges dating back to January detail the efforts of the Investigators to secure an interview with White in order to gain her side of the continuing story.
White's team repeatedly refused any attempts at questioning the judge, citing the Louisiana Judicial Code of Conduct which prohibits judges from discussing specific cases. The questions posed to White center around the judge's general and repeated use of the company RHI and not a specific case.
The Investigators caught up with White at a community meeting. When questioned about her political ties to RHI, she refused to answer.
White tried to avoid further questions by taking a side exit normally reserved for city council members. White was hurriedly escorted to a private elevator flanked by a citizen who tried to block the lens of the Investigator's photographer.
When pressed further, White entered the elevator and turned away from the news camera and stood quietly facing the corner refusing to answer repeated questions.
The Louisiana Judicial Code of Conduct advises judges on appropriate behavior and warns judges to avoid impropriety or even "the appearance of impropriety in all activities."
The Code states "A judge shall not allow family, social, political, or other relationships to influence judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of the judge or others."
Matt Dennis owns another home supervision company and has questioned what he calls an abuse of Judge White's power.
"I believe the system will fix this. They're not going to let this continue," he said. "What she's doing is providing an appearance of impropriety. She's definitely showing favoritism, which is not something a judge can do."
Below are the email exchanges between the Investigators and White's team. Click here to read them in PDF format.
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