Kaplan city judge Stanton Hardee III will have to step down as a judge for six months.
Kaplan city judge Stanton Hardee suspended from practice, judge seat for six months; issues apology to voters
The Louisiana State Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel suspended Kaplan City Judge Stanton Hardee III from practicing law for a year and a day after he pleaded no contest to multiple misdemeanors arising from alcohol-related, offensive conduct, in violation of Rules 8.4(a) and 8.4(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The ruling was released on Wednesday by the Supreme Court of Louisiana. In the decision, it also stated that all but six months of the suspension be deferred. Following the active portion of the suspension, respondent shall be subject to a period of probation to coincide with the remaining term of his monitoring agreement with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, the disciplinary counsel wrote
The Meridional contacted Hardee on Thursday asking why he was suspended. He issued a statement Friday explaining what happened and to say he is sorry for his actions.
Hardee wrote: “To all the people in the City of Kaplan and Vermilion Parish, I want to sincerely apologize and say I am sorry for my behavior on January 15, 2017. On that day, I was on my bachelor party out of state with some of my Army buddies. I got extremely intoxicated that night, was arrested at a bar, and charged with several misdemeanors for being extremely intoxicated and grabbing a waitress on the buttocks, for failing to produce identification, and for refusing to get into the police vehicle. I pleaded no contest to those misdemeanors, paid my fines and completed the probation period.”
His suspension began this past Wednesday. He will not be able to practice law and sit as a judge for six months. The State Supreme Court will appoint his replacement judge.
When he does return in six months, he will be on probation until 2022.
“I am sorry and remorseful for the embarrassment that my actions have brought upon my family, my constituents, my employees and the legal profession. It is a very hard lesson to learn. I humbly ask for your forgiveness,” said Hardee.