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JCC sets new hearing date in Maze case


By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

The state’s Judicial Conduct Commission has set a new hearing date for its case against suspended Montgomery County Circuit Judge Beth Maze.

The JCC sent out a notice last week announcing that the formal hearing will begin 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Fayette Circuit Court, 120 N. Limestone in Lexington.

Maze faces six misconduct charges before the JCC.

The last scheduled hearing date Sept. 9 was canceled after the Kentucky Supreme Court granted a stay so that Maze’s legal team could pursue a writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The stay was effective until Sept. 23 unless the U.S. Supreme Court granted its own stay. No stay has been granted from that court.
A writ of certiorari is an order a higher court issues in order to review the decision and proceedings in a lower court and determine whether there were any irregularities.

The U.S. Supreme Court receives about 10,000 cert petitions each year, and grants only about 75-80 of them, which translates to a success rate of less than 1 percent, according to a published report.

Maze wants the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that her JCC case cannot be heard until after her criminal case is resolved.

Maze is charged in Bath County with two felony counts of second-degree forgery and one count of tampering with public records. Her trial is to begin Nov. 12.

At a recent court hearing, Special Judge Phillip Patton ordered the trial moved to Bourbon County upon request of attorneys on both sides.
Maze is charged with allegedly signing the names of the Commonwealth Attorney and the Bath County attorney on court orders allowing for blood tests of her ex-husband, Donald “Champ” Maze, without their knowledge following his arrest on drug charges in September 2017.

In one case, she allegedly signed the name of Michael Campbell, a Morehead attorney, on a court order.

Thomas Clay, a Louisville attorney representing Maze, claims that Champ Maze and the police who arrested him wanted him drug tested and Judge Maze was only trying to appease him.

As for the order in question, Clay claims that Maze wanted it distributed to the parties named and the alleged forgery was really “a clerical error.”
Prosecutors allege that Judge Maze was using her position in an effort to benefit her ex-husband.

Many of the charges in the JCC case parallel those made in the criminal case. The JCC alleges that Maze improperly interfered in the case in several different ways.

Maze claims there was a conspiracy among a group of officials—including Commonwealth Attorney Ronnie Goldy, Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys Keith Craycraft and Ashton McKenzie, Circuit Judge William “Bill” Lane and his assistant Deana Roberts—to have her removed for their own benefit.

Maze’s defense lawyers want access to text messages reportedly involving those parties during the period in question to prove the alleged conspiracy.

Access to the reported text messages is now being considered by the Kentucky Court of Appeals as part of the criminal case.
Prosecutors have denied any conspiracy and assert any reported text messages have no bearing on its case against Maze.
Maze is currently suspended with pay. She serves the 21st Judicial Circuit that includes Montgomery, Bath Menifee and Rowans counties.