Eleventh Judicial District - Chaffee County Court Judge
Honorable William P. Alderton
Retention Year: 2004
Recommendation: No Opinion
The Eleventh Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance issues a "NO OPINION" recommendation for Judge William P. Alderton. (The vote was 3 in favor of a "No Opinion" recommendation, 2 opposed to a "No Opinion" recommendation and 1 abstention.)
Judge Alderton was appointed to the County Court bench for Chaffee County in 1990. Judge Alderton currently hears traffic, criminal (felony and misdemeanors), civil and traffic infractions.
Surveys for evaluation of Judge Alderton were completed by attorneys who have practiced in his court. Non-Attorney surveys were completed by defendants, plaintiffs, law enforcement, employees, jurors, and victims.
Information was supplied to the Commission through surveys, public hearings, 2 personal interviews with Judge Alderton, and courtroom observations. During the prior evaluation of Judge Alderton in 2000, the Commission believed legitimate concerns were raised about docket control and promptness and suggested that Judge Alderton investigate and address these issues. These same complaints appeared again in the current survey four years later, along with concerns about Judge Alderton's demeanor, his fairness, his overall communications, and his diligence. Commission members were specifically concerned about Judge Alderton's inability to utilize the survey results to identify weaknesses and areas where improvement may be needed.
According to the attorneys surveyed, Judge Alderton was given high marks for his honesty and on applying the rule of law. Judge Alderton provided numerous positive references to the Commission, with several of his peers and other members of the legal community indicating that they felt he does a superior job as a County Judge. The survey data also
reflects divergent views on Judge Alderton's performance. Among non-attorneys, Judge Alderton's performance is consistently well below the statewide average of all county court judges. Most notably, among non-attorney participants, less than one-half strongly recommended retention compared to 72% for county court judges statewide. Attorney participants in the survey, on the other hand, recommended retention on par with the statewide average and were generally more favorable than non-attorney participants.
Faced with these seriously conflicting views of Judge Alderton's performance, the Commission has determined that not enough evidence exists to confidently provide a retention recommendation for Judge Alderton.