U.S. district court judge with Junction ties resigns amid controversy

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, who had a private practice in Grand Junction before he was appointed to the bench, is stepping down.

Nottingham, who presided over the insider-trading trial of former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio, resigned effective Oct. 29 while under investigation for judicial misconduct.

Among the complaints were allegations that Nottingham viewed adult Web sites on his government computer in his chambers. It also was alleged last year that Nottingham testified in his own divorce case that he spent $3,000 at a strip club.

In March, Chief Circuit Judge Robert H. Henry acknowledged a complaint had been filed with the 10th Circuit alleging that a district judge had “brought disrepute to the judiciary.”

Henry later confirmed that the judge was Nottingham.

A statement posted on the Web site of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Nottingham has “ceased judicial duties” effective immediately and that the 10th Circuit Judicial Council had initiated misconduct proceedings against Nottingham.

Nottingham was stepping down “at this critical time in the investigation of these multiple complaints of misconduct,” the statement said.

Colorado senators Wayne Allard, a Republican, and Ken Salazar, a Democrat, said Nottingham, a Grand Junction High School graduate, had been recognized as a fine judge, but that his resignation was necessary.

“Our federal courts already face a backlog of cases and Judge Nottingham’s resignation now increases that strain,” Allard said in a statement. “I am hopeful that early next year the new administration, Sen. Salazar and the future senator for Colorado will work expeditiously to fill both seats.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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