Judge Faces Allegations of Sexual Harrassment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Commission on Judicial Qualifications has set the stage for a public hearing into allegations of sexual harassment by Leavenworth County District Judge Frederick Stewart.

The judge's attorney calls the allegations are false.

In a Notice of Formal Proceedings, an examiner said the alleged conduct occurred between 1999 and 2007, against administrative assistant Christie Helm.

The notice said Stewart has 20 days to respond. A hearing date will be set after that.

The 59-year-old was appointed to the bench in January 1977, and voters have retained him ever since. District judges face a retention vote every four years.

The 14-member commission had seven members who considered the allegations in private and filed the notice. The other seven members will consider the case during a public hearing.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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