Canyon County

Idaho judge to retire amid claim of 'inappropriate language'

A Canyon County judge who's been on administrative leave since October, amid an investigation into his office behavior, now plans to retire.

Third District Magistrate Judge F. Randall Kline on Friday submitted his notice of retirement to the Idaho Supreme Court, said Sara Thomas, the court's administrative director. His retirement will be effective on July 1.

The Idaho Judicial Council last fall received a complaint about Kline using "inappropriate language" around staff. But such complaints are not public until their investigations are complete, and the details around Kline's complaint remain unclear.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick signed an order placing Kline on leave Oct. 20, according to a copy provided to the Statesman through a records request.

On Wednesday, Thomas said the only new information she had received was Kline's notice of intent to retire.

Kline retires after five years on the bench. He took his current seat in April 2013.

He was first admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1981 and has no prior record of disciplinary actions. He previously served as the elected Power County prosecutor.

The Idaho Judicial Council is made up of the Supreme Court’s chief justice, a district court judge, two lawyers appointed by the board of the Idaho State Bar, and three non-attorney members appointed by the governor.

It does not examine legal decisions, but rather considers complaints regarding whether a judge violated the four canons of the Idaho Code of Judicial Conduct. If a complaint holds up, the council recommends a course of action, such as a private reprimand, a public reprimand, a suspension or an education order. The judge involved receives a copy of the complaint, can be represented by an attorney and has the right to a public hearing.

Ruth Brown: 208-377-6207, @RuthBrownNews