Ohio Supreme Court Asked To Order Psychiatric Evaluation For Controversial Judge From Powerful Cleveland Family

judge_stokesWe have previously dealt with judges found to be mentally disturbed but kept on the bench despite erratic behavior. The most recent case involves Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes who has long had a bad reputation as a judge for her domineering and sometimes bizarre conduct from the bench. Now a report from the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel has concluded that Stokes may be “suffering from a mental illness that substantially impairs her ability to perform her duties as a judicial officer.” The local newspaper is calling for her resignation. As with other judges found to be incompetent, Stokes has been reelected easily. She is the daughter of former Cleveland Congressman Louis Stokes. While she has received consistently poor ratings from bar associations and newspaper editorial boards, she has easily won re-election.

The 49-page report below asks for an order to undergo a psychiatric examination. It details a pattern of abusive treatment of lawyers and court staff and defendants who appear before her.

One of the most telling facts is that Stokes employed 21 different personal bailiffs at 27 different times since 1995.

Stokes is yet another example of how powerful political families secure positions for incompetent children with the support of Democratic and Republican leaders. Despite negative reviews and opposition from lawyers, she was reelected to a full six-year term in 1999, 2005 and 2011. In addition to her father, the former congressman, she is the niece of the late Carl B. Stokes, former U.S. Ambassador, Mayor of Cleveland and Judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court.

Stokes graduated with honors from the University of Maryland, College Park. Ironically, she received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She received her juris doctor from the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Here is the report: Stokes Report

18 thoughts on “Ohio Supreme Court Asked To Order Psychiatric Evaluation For Controversial Judge From Powerful Cleveland Family”

  1. First of all, she is probably a closet drunk wantabe white woman in black skin. And that is depicted in her fake hair, not good hair but fake hair. She needs to be removed from the bench because she is no longer competent to Judge. Also, Judges should not be allowed to have more than 2 terms. This would help rid the judicial system with popularity. She like her dad is looking to retire and black people would see to this madness.

  2. How many other current and previous judges suffer from some sort of mental illness? Notice: Professor JT’s article never states whether she is or has been diagnosed with a mental illness? Or even taking or has taken medication for a mental illness? Is it common for a judge to be on medication for a mental illness while still on the bench?

  3. Something I have observed over the years is the fact many judges LOOK like judges, which seems to get them elected. For example, Angela Stokes is an attractive woman. She looks as if she might be smart, but we all know how voters can be fooled by superficial appearances. One guy in our area had a law practice that was less than thriving, so he ran for judge and won. Just as the TV sitcom character “Ted Baxter” looked like a news anchor, this guy looks like a judge straight from central casting. I am planning to do a weekend piece on him in the near future, along with some other judges.

  4. AY,

    Yep. Madness doesn’t have a professional boundary and an unfortunate side effect of the profession is that it is attractive to certain types of disorders. Particularly those that deal with power relations and/or self-image. However, what is really sad – as anonymous attorney skirts, is that it took this long for any action to be taken to rein in Stokes. I think this also illustrates a fundamental problem in electing judges. Just because a candidate has a “brand name” doesn’t mean they are competent for the job. That observation though applies to all elected officials. Politics shouldn’t be a family business nor a professional career end in and of itself.

  5. The photos reminds me of the Chris Rock comedy/doc, Good Hair. maybe that’s why she keeps getting elected. She’s got Great Hair!

  6. Our duopoly has created Royal political families. Just another reason to create and support alternative parties.

  7. JAG, Electing judges is not ideal by any means. But, don’t kid yourself. When judges are appt., it is still a popularity contest often times, w/ elitists appointing judges. “Leave it to the experts” is flawed thinking in many cases. Incidents like this cause me to reconsider my thoughts on electing vs. appointing. But, I still come down on electing. In almost any other circumstance, this troubled woman would have been voted out of office. “Forget it Jake, it’s Cleveland.”

  8. From the behavior described, it seems like she likely has a personality disorder, formerly, and (in my not so humble opinion) more accurately known as a character disorder. What is astounding is that finally those in positions of power are attempting to do something about her behavior.

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