Iowa judge won’t lead selection panel after favoritism claim

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge accused of trying to rig a judicial nomination to get a favored candidate appointed to the bench has agreed to not lead any future selection processes.

 The Iowa Judicial Branch says District Judge Kurt Stoebe could also face an investigation by the Iowa Judicial Qualifications Commission, an independent body that investigates allegations of misconduct. 

The Iowa Supreme Court could discipline Stoebe, who was appointed by then-Gov. Chet Culver in 2011, only after receiving a report from the commission. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday said an investigation by her staff found that Stoebe’s misconduct tainted the process of interviewing candidates and recommending finalists for an open district court judgeship in District 2B in central Iowa.