COVINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky judge may be facing impeachment after she was accused of having sex with her staff in the courthouse and allowing alcohol and loud guitar music.
The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission filed nine counts of misconduct Nov. 18 against Kenton County Family Court Judge Dawn M. Gentry. According to the Nov. 18 filing, Gentry is accused of abusing her power to solicit sex and campaign donations from staff members and attorneys, and retaliated against them if they refused, The Washington Post reported.
“You have engaged in a pattern of conduct that constitutes misconduct in office and violates the Code of Judicial Conduct,” the commission said in its filing.
Gentry denied the allegations through her attorney, Stephen P. Ryan, in a Dec. 2 response to the commission.
An anonymous person filed the complaint about Judge Dawn Gentry, a family court judge in Kenton County, to the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission on Nov. 18. Gentry could lose her seat if found guilty of serious ethics violations.https://t.co/erV6iJDo7h— WCPO (@WCPO) December 6, 2019
Gentry was appointed to Kenton County Family Court in 2016 by Gov. Matt Bevins and was officially elected to the post in 2018, WKRC reported.
According to the affidavit, after the November 2018 election, Gentry allegedly hired a case specialist, Stephen Penrose, with whom she was having a sexual affair, forcing another staff member to resign to make room for him on the staff.
Gentry is also accused of having sex with the case specialist and another woman at the courthouse, according to the affidavit. Gentry also allegedly asked an abused children’s attorney to join her in a threesome and retaliated against her when she refused, the affidavit said.
"Any of the Counts described below, on their own, constitute sufficient grounds for disciplinary action,” the commission wrote. “But examined as a whole, the allegations in this Notice demonstrate a pattern of misconduct in office.”
Gentry, in her answer to the complaint, wrote in capital letters that she did not have a sexual relationship with Penrose, adding he was qualified for his job because he held a similar position in another county. Gentry also denied having a threesome, according to the response.
Gentry added that the guitar playing, by Penrose, happened “on occasion,” and she did not realize it was a distraction. There is no longer any guitar playing at the office, she wrote in her response.
The complaint also alleged Gentry was drinking while at work. She denied the allegation and said in her response she did not know her employees were drinking on the job.
If found guilty, Gentry could lose her seat, WCPO reported.
"They’re very serious charges,” attorney Richard Goldberg told the television station. “There’s numerous ones and several are serious enough that they can, if proven, justify removal from the bench, yes.”