No amount of public shame is likely to keep this week's Rogue from ascending to the Multnomah County bench. But Portland lawyer Leslie Roberts pulled a sleazy move to disqualify her neighbor and former friend from running for a full term as a Multnomah County circuit judge and, in the process, secure the slot for herself on the November ballot.
The woman Roberts knocked off the ballot, Judge Youlee Yim You, was tapped in August to fill a vacancy on the Circuit Court by Gov. Ted Kulongoski. State and county elections officials failed to notice that, because You had moved out of state for several years before returning, she fell several months short of a residency requirement for the bench.
But You's neighbor, Leslie Roberts, seized the opportunity to file for the election on the last possible day and then file a complaint with the state Elections Division, alerting officials to her opponent's qualification problem.
In a decision issued last week, the Elections Division knocked You off the ballot. She has decided not to appeal, and will resign her seat.
Roberts told The Oregonian last week she had reminded officials to ensure all candidates met residency requirements. But the governor's office tells WW she did not. Roberts insists she "emphasized [her point] quite clearly.
"They may not remember," Roberts said Tuesday.
Her sneaky behavior is not exactly what voters are looking for in a judge. By waiting to act until filing deadlines loomed, Roberts effectively excluded any other candidates vying for the open position.
She also based her argument for disqualification, in part, on an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling published just days before the filing deadline by her own husband, Appeals Judge Rex Armstrong. But he's a Rogue for another day.