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Retired judge being reprimanded

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Retired Superior Court of Guam Judge Steven Unpingco is being publicly reprimanded for engaging in judicial misconduct.  The reprimand stems from an ethics complaint filed in 2010 by former Guam International Airport Authority Executive Manager Jerry Yingling.  According to news files Yingling was convicted in March 2005 of unauthorized use of a government credit card and official misconduct, but Guam's appellate court found there was no evidence to prove that the former government official did anything unrelated to his official business.  Judge Unpingco presided over the former government official's trial. Following an investigation of his ethics complaint the Committee on Judicial discipline under the Guam Supreme Court filed formal charges of judicial misconduct against the retired judge in August 2013. The committee found that the retired Judge "failed to remain temperate, patient, courteous and/ or fearless of public clamor." Unpingco was also found to have violated the canons of judicial ethics when he made disparaging remarks about then fellow Judge Katherine Maraman.  Today's public reprimand follows an agreement signed in September 2013 by Judge Unpingco admitting to the misconduct. As part of the order, the retired judge must pay for the public reprimand to be published in a local newspaper. This case marked the first time a member of the bench in Guam has been brought up on ethics charges.

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