Phillip Woolbright, Arrowhead Justice of the Peace and "Servant of the Lord," Relieved of Duties After Suspension Recommendation

Arrowhead Justice of the Peace Phillip Woolbright's campaign Web site says he's a "part-time preacher, bringing morals and ethics to the bench."

What a complete crock.

The hypocritical judge/preacher was relieved of his duties today after the Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended he be suspended for 60 days for ethical misconduct. Court rules state that a judge must be taken off the bench for a suspension recommendation.

Woolbright was arrested in July for violating a restraining order against him filed by his estranged wife.

Court documents (see below) state that Woolbrights kids are fearful of him. After a judge granted his wife the restraining order, Woolbright showed up at her house and banged on her door, asking to see the kids. Cops soon showed up and busted him.

But that wasn't the only issue the commission had with Woolbright.

The judge had discussed with police officers the possibility that he might serve a search warrant against his wife so he could get his kids back, and asked an officer about tracking his wife's cell phone so he could verify she was in Arizona, records state.

Woolbright reportedly had also asked his court manager to move his van in order to avoid being served court paperwork in his family law case, then tried to coerce the manager into telling authorities a different story.

John Keegan, the former judge in the district, (which serves Peoria, Sun City and Arrowhead Ranch,) wrote in a September newspaper column that Woolbright -- who makes more than $100,000 a year -- ought to resign immediately.

The judge continues to earn his pay while off the bench. Channel 10 News (KSAZ-TV) reports that Woolbright will be assigned a "mentor judge" after he returns to his position and will attend judicial ethics training.

Which is all well and good, except Woolbright's apparent disregard for the law doesn't sound like it could be cured with training.

Read the judicial conduct commission's report:

Complete Formal Record Filed With the Court 12-23-11

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.