Oregon judge is charged with gun violations for allegedly letting felon handle weapons
A judge in Marion County, Oregon, has been charged with two felonies for allegedly letting a felon handle firearms on two occasions.
Judge Vance Day was charged in an indictment made public on Thursday, report the Oregonian, the Statesman Journal and the Portland Tribune. He is charged with two felony counts of felon in possession of a firearm, for allegedly aiding and abetting the crime, and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct.
The indictment alleges Day helped Brian Shehan possess a firearm on two occasions. Shehan is a former Navy Seal in Day’s veterans treatment court program who had pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, according to the Oregonian. Shehan’s conviction was later reduced to a misdemeanor.
The official misconduct charges stem from the alleged firearms incidents, according to the indictment
The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability has recommended Day’s removal from office, partly because of the gun issue. The commission opinion refers to a former Navy SEAL named “BAS” who pleaded pleaded guilty in Day’s courtroom. The judicial fitness commission opinion says Day allowed BAS to handle a gun at Day family events, and BAS also went target shooting with Day’s son.
The commission also cited Day’s plan to avoid performing marriages for gay couples and a lack of insight into required “boundaries” as reasons he should be removed from office.
The commission said Day solicited funds from attorneys, some of whom appeared before him, for a courthouse veterans art project; asked BAS for an interview for a magazine article; and tried to intimidate a soccer referee by showing his business card. One collage in the military art collection included a portrait of Hitler, the commission said.
Day’s lawyer, Michael De Muniz, told the Portland Tribune that he and his client are “extremely disappointed” by the decision to pursue charges. “Judge Day is innocent and is looking forward to defending himself at trial before a jury of his peers,” De Muniz said.
Day has been reassigned to special projects and will be working from home.