Judge Won’t Recuse Himself From Superior Police Officer Crash Case
The conditions don't warrant it. That's the decision made by the Douglas County Circuit Court Judge assigned to deliberate the case of the Superior Police Officer "accused of being involved in a fatal traffic crash" earlier this month.
According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Superior Police Sergeant Gregory Swanson is charged with "one felony count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle". The incident occured on July 15.
Swanson posted $15,000 bail on July 18. On Tuesday, July 26, he appeared in court for the first time, waiving "the time limits for his preliminary hearing" which is now set for August 24.
Ahead of that courtroom session on July 26, Douglas County Judge George Glonek sent a letter to the defense to communicate his actions. In that letter - dated July 21, sent to defense attorney Chris Gramstrup - Glonek declared his positions - stating that "he believes he can preside over the matter fairly, impartially, and without a bias".
The Judge went on to share that "[w]hile Swanson may have testified in Glonek's courtroom before....[he] could not recall any particular case where he had". Glonek also stated that "the two have no personal connection.
Taking into account all of the declared statements, Glonek then summarized his position with a nod to the sanctity of his role; he offered, "judges should not recuse themselves from cases for no valid reason".
Swanson's charges stem from a vehicular incident that involved alcohol, where two of the parties involved died as a result of the accident. The article in the Telegram details the incident:
"...a vehicle driven by Swanson was driving struck a disabled sedan with no lights in the right lane of the 5200 block of East Second Street at about 1:17 AM on July 15. A 23-year old man was reported dead at the scene of the crash. Another occupant of the vehicle [a two month old child] died four days later from blunt force trauma suffered during the crash."
Swanson's preliminary hearing has been set for August 24.