Judge Robin Free, who is currently on suspension, announces retirement

Judge Robin Free, who is currently on suspension, announces retirement

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - 18th Judicial District Court Judge Robin Free, who is currently on suspension, has put in notice that he will retire from the bench next month.

Judge Free's district covers West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Pointe Coupee Parishes. He was first elected in 1996.

Last June, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended Free for one year for "failing to maintain the integrity of his position."

Earlier this year, Free was the subject of a 9News Investigators story for allegedly interfering with traffic stops by West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office deputies. A judicial commission began investigating claims raised in the 9News investigation and their probe was ongoing, multiple sources told WAFB's Kiran Chawla Friday.

In 2014, Free was suspended without pay for 30 days and ordered to pay back thousands of dollars. That was related to a 2009 lawsuit where the Louisiana Supreme Court said Free should have recused himself from a case, but did not.

Also, in a 2010 case, the Louisiana Supreme Court says the judge took a free trip from a lawyer whose client won a $1.2 million suit in Free's court, and the same lawyer tried other cases in Judge Free's courtroom.

The Louisiana Supreme Court, in 2014, ruled that Free violated several counts, including showing bias instead of integrity like a judge is expected to do.

At that time, he was ordered to pay back more than $6,723 to the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana.

Free's current suspension was for making comments in front of a victim's family showing bias toward prosecutors, abusing his contempt authority in two separate cases, making inappropriate comments toward women during domestic abuse proceedings, and using slang when speaking to defendants in several criminal cases, The Advocate newspaper reports.

His final day will be July 13.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.