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January 24, 2017

Legislature reappoints Judges Parker, Ashwell

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker and General District Court Judge J. Gregory Ashwell won unanimous reappointments from the General Assembly last week.
Jonathan S. Lynn has retired from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court bench.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier’s two incumbent judges will return to the bench for new terms.

Virginia’s General Assembly on Wednesday, Jan. 18, unanimously re-appointed Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker and General District Court Judge J. Gregory Ashwell to eight- and six-year terms, respectively.

The Senate and House courts of justice committees Friday, Jan. 13, recommended the re-appointment of Judges Parker and Ashwell.

Both underwent interviews with a joint House-Senate committee Friday, Dec. 2, in Richmond.

Legislators first appointed Judge Parker in 2001 and reappointed him in 2009 to a term that ends April 30.

Judge Ashwell in 2011 received appointment to a term that expires June 30.

Fauquier’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge Jonathan S. Lynn did not seek a second, six-year term to the bench.

All three judges serve the 20th Judicial Circuit, which includes Fauquier, Loudoun and Rappahannock counties.

While his term ends June 30, Judge Lynn decided to retire Feb. 1.

Because he has leave to use, the judge heard his last case on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Until Judge Lynn’s successor gets appointed, substitute judges will hear cases in Fauquier’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

The local bar associations and state legislators in coming weeks will consider endorsements for candidates to succeed him.

Judge Lynn toyed with the idea of seeking a second term.

But, “I didn’t want to get 18 months, two years into a second term and decide, ‘Hey, I’m going to retire’,” the 68-year-old judge said in a December interview. “I think it made more sense to make the decision now’.”

Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Lynn served 25 years as Fauquier commonwealth’s Attorney and practiced law with a Warrenton firm 10 years before that.

Calling his law career “very fulfilling,” Judge Lynn sounds like he welcomes retirement.

“I’m looking to having some time to putter around the house and spend time with family,” he said.
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WatchingWarrenton · January 27, 2017 at 11:36 am
In the case of "judge" Parker, he feels empowered and performs the most outrageous violations the 1st year of his new term. This is his 3rd term in 2017. Watch out Warrenton and surrounding citizenry. Your judge is about to show you what he's made of - imagine that man's upbringing and the values of the progeny he produced. Just imagine. I suwannee, indeed!
TooTrue · January 27, 2017 at 11:09 am
Two members of a dying good ole boy network got another chance. Maybe they will be better this time.
WatchingWarrenton · January 25, 2017 at 10:01 am
WatchingWarrenton · January 25, 2017 at 9:51 am
The Fauquier Now article implies that the General Assembly held a vote. In fact no recorded individual vote was held by the Virginia General Assembly on the controversial re-appointment of Rappahannock and Fauquier Circuit Court Judge Parker. Most of us understand the practice of voting to require a Yes or No vote to be tied to an individual elected to vote on our behalf. As pointed out with some precision by The Washington Post Editorial Board on January 22, 2017, "Too Much Legislation Dies a Silent Death in Virginia". This practice is also used to reappointment a slate of judges.
Judge Jeffrey Parker's re-appointment was opposed by most of 155 attorneys and jurors who had appeared before Judge Parker. But they are not elected representatives of the people. They were asked to rate his performance. Four (4) parties to past litigation in Judge Parker's courtroom appeared before the Joint House and Senate Committee on December 2nd in Richmond to detail Judge Parker's unethical, unconstitutional, erratic and abusive conduct while a sitting judge in Warrenton. Senator Jill Vogel refused to attend the hearing. How was Parker re-appointed for another term ? House Majority Leader Howell and Senate leader Dick Black promised they were going to do their ole buddy a favor and "ram" through Parker's re-appointment in their respective legislative chambers. The entire slate of judges up for re-appointment received re-appointment. There was no recorded votes in the court committee or on the floor of the General Assembly. Parker testified that he suffers from severe pain and can barely walk. That alone raises the question of his pharma use. What opioids is he taking and for how long has Judge Parker been using ? It's abundantly clear, Judge Parker is unfit to serve on the bench. Attorneys have an ethical obligation to report a judge's incapacity to serve. How many Warrenton attorneys have reported Judge Parker as required by the requirements of the Virginia State Bar professional standards ? How many paid court staffers have reported Judge Parker's incapacity to the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission ? It's time to do your duty in light of Sen. Vogel's abdication of her legislative oversight duties and legislative cowardice.
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