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Chief Judge Accused in Handicapped Parking Spat

Posted Oct 24, 2007 5:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Denver lawyer has filed a complaint claiming the chief judge of the Colorado federal courts threatened to call authorities when she confronted him about parking in a handicapped space.

The lawyer, Jeanne Elliott, was paralyzed in 1986 when she was shot by an angry litigant. She told KUSA in Denver that she waited in her wheelchair behind the illegally parked SUV outside a Walgreens. Judge Edward Nottingham arrived and threatened to call the U.S. Marshals service when she didn’t move, according to her grievance (PDF) filed with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He later called 911.

Nottingham, who presided over the insider trading trial of ex-Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, is also under investigation in connection with a visit to a strip club, the Denver Post reports.

Nottingham issued a statement (PDF) that reads in part: “Judge Nottingham regrets parking in a handicapped space in his haste to pick up a prescription at a local Walgreens, but respectfully disagrees with the remainder of Ms. Elliott’s version of this incident.”

A hat tip to How Appealing, which posted news of the incident.

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