The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards has made a formal complaint against the state tax court’s chief judge, George Perez.
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The complaint accuses the judge, appointed in 1997 and named chief judge in 2001, of falsely certifying in time records submitted to the State of Minnesota that he was in compliance with the time limits of Minnesota statutes for deciding cases at times when decisions in his cases were overdue, (2) refusing to accept new case assignments and directing court personnel to keep his refusal to take new cases secret from his fellow tax court judges, (3) failing to be fully cooperative, candid and honest with the board or its investigators during the course of the investigation into his misconduct, and (4) engaging in a lengthy pattern of failing to promptly decide cases submitted for his decision within the three-month deadline established by Minnesota without lawful justification for his delays.
In one instance, less than a week before a decision deadline, Judge Perez held a post-hearing conference call with counsel for the parties, during which he told the lawyers that he had surgery coming up and that he needed an additional month to issue his opinion. No written consent to extend the statutory deadline was obtained from the parties, and, according the board, the judge’s calendar reflects no surgery between the dates in question. Instead, the board said, the only medically related appointments during that time were a one-and-one-half hour doctor’s appointment, a dental appointment and a flu shot.
Although not all records were available to the board, it found that the available records confirmed that beginning no later than 2002 and continuing through January 2012, Judge Perez “engaged in a pattern of delay whereby numerous cases assigned to him were not timely decided within the three-month deadline established by Minn. Stat. section 271.21.”