Seventeenth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Tomee Crespin
Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Does Not Meet Performance Standard
The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance finds by a 5-3 vote that the Honorable Tomee Crespin DOES NOT MEET PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. Two Commission members did not participate in the voting. Judge Crespin was placed on a performance plan to encourage her to improve her courtroom presence and demeanor, both of which the Commission had communicated to her were not satisfactory. The expectation was that she would show significant effort and improvement in the areas raised in that plan; a review by the Commission indicates that has not occurred, although she has worked to improve her case management skills and her docket is timely managed. However, its concern that she did not treat those appearing before her with respect, that her courtroom was not conducted in a neutral manner, and that rulings of law were not consistent, led to the vote shown above.
The Commission conducted two personal interviews with Judge Crespin, observed her performance in court, conducted interviews of attorneys who have appeared in her courtroom, reviewed comments submitted by attorneys, parties, and other judges familiar with her work, and reviewed orders and decisions issued by the Judge. The Commission also relied on its interim evaluation of Judge Crespin’s performance in 2019. These observations and reviews led to the finding that Judge Crespin’s treatment of attorneys and parties appearing in her courtroom is demeaning and disrespectful. She acknowledges and understands that many of her interactions and communications towards attorneys and parties have been inappropriate and appears to understand the impact of them as she expressed a full commitment to prevent unseemly interactions in the future. But, because of the fundamental role that a judge plays in giving parties and the public confidence in the fairness of our judicial system, the Commission finds that her behavior and treatment of those in her courtroom is inappropriate. Some commissioners applauded Judge Crespin’s offer to undertake an on-going, supervised, plan designed to bring significant changes, while others questioned whether she could fairly and impartially deliver equal justice in her courtroom.
Survey information collected in 2018, 2019 and 2020 included responses from, in total, 56 attorneys and 61 non-attorneys with knowledge of Judge Crespin. These surveys raised serious questions about whether Judge Crespin effectively applies the law to the facts, finding that she did not always base her decisions on the evidence and arguments made before her. Also troubling was that Judge Crespin did not appear to be fair and impartial to both sides.
Judge Crespin was appointed to the bench in 2016. Prior to her appointment to the District Court, she was a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Tomee Crespin, LLC where she focused on family and criminal law litigation. She also served as an Associate Judge in Commerce City Municipal Court, Brighton Municipal Court, and Lakewood Municipal Court. She earned her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1996 and her J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 2000.
Judge Tomee Crespin’s Response:
Voters should know I MEET PERFORMANCE STANDARDS based on State of Colorado compiled case data. I’m a Hispanic woman who grew up poor, graduated from Ranum H.S. and am raising my family in this community. I’ve experienced racist, demeaning, unfair and disrespectful behavior in life, that’s not how I treat people. I’ve ethically and honestly served this community for 20 years. I completed a performance plan to improve and conform to a traditional view of a judge. I’m not a traditional judge. I’m a direct, no-nonsense judge dedicated to equal treatment of all, based on fair application of the law.