JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Bar recommended Wednesday that voters oust a St. Louis County judge from the bench in the November election following a survey of attorneys who said she was not competent.
The poor rating for Associate Circuit Judge Judy Draper marked just the third time The Missouri Bar has suggested a judge not be retained since voters adopted a nonpartisan system of selecting certain judges in 1940.
Draper, who has served as a judge since 2004, said in a written statement that she is disappointed by the recommendation and enjoys her job.
"I will continue to serve with passion and fairness as I strive to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary," Draper said.
The biennial evaluation by The Missouri Bar focuses only on judges appointed to nonpartisan positions on appeals courts or to trial courts in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield areas. Those judges appear on the ballot periodically for yes-or-no votes on whether to keep them in office. Trial judges elsewhere in Missouri run in partisan elections similar to legislative and executive branch candidates.
The Missouri Bar surveyed attorneys about judges and also sought opinions from jurors and the general public. Committees of attorneys and citizens then reviewed those surveys, as well as judges' written rulings, and made recommendations on whether voters should retain the judges.