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Arizona judge denies knowing live-in boyfriend was fugitive

hAn Arizona trial judge who has handled several prominent cases denied knowing that her live-in boyfriend was a fugitive with a criminal record before he was arrested at her home.

Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court released a brief statement through a court spokeswoman saying she did not know about Michael Kent Krause’s criminal background. She declined to be interviewed Tuesday

“I did not know that Mr. Krause had a felony conviction or any criminal record, for that matter, or that he is a registered sex offender. I learned this information for the first time on Tuesday after his arrest,” the judge said.

Krause, 52, was arrested Jan. 6 at Cooper’s Phoenix home on a fugitive warrant stemming from a larceny indictment issued in New York City. A court document filed in Arizona in connection with New York’s extradition request said Krause is a registered sex offender.

In California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records state that Krause served prison sentences in the late 1980s and early 1990s for crimes including burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with intent to commit a sex offense.

The judge’s relationship with Krause was first reported late Monday by KPHO-TV (http://goo.gl/ITmGZv).

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge allowed Krause’s release on $5,000 bond pending extradition proceedings. Krause’s case has since been assigned to a judge from Pima County.

In a separate statement to KPHO, Cooper said Krause “no longer resides at my residence.”

Cooper is assigned to civil cases in Maricopa County Superior Court, the state’s largest trial court. She has handled several high-profile cases, including a legal challenge to the expansion of Arizona’s Medicaid program under the federal health care law.

Arizona judges must abide by numerous rules on such matters as impartiality, integrity and extrajudicial activities.

George Riemer, executive director of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct, said no state rule specifically governs with whom a judge can live.

One comment

  1. Let’s get it straight: If the Judge knew her companion was a fugitive of justice, that would be illegal for her to harbor him in her home or assist him in any way. If she knew that he had a past criminal record, even if he was a registered sex offender, that would not be a violation of any judicial code of conduct, ethics or law to associate with him. While her friends might wish to question her judgment or personal choices in men, she would not be in violation of any professional standard of conduct. Judges are allowed to believe in rehabilitation, even if this particular man would appear not to be truly rehabilitated. Judges are people who have family members who commit crimes, go to prison, etc. So, to imply that a sitting Judge has an illegal or even inappropriate relationship with someone who has been convicted of a crime is really off base. In this case, the Judge denies any knowledge whatsoever of her boyfriend’s background or current active warrant. That is enough for me. She is still qualified to be a Judge and all the hype over this issue is absurd. Slow news day?

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