by Max Brantley
Drew County District Judge Ken Harper of Monticello was reprimanded and censured today by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for misconduct related to alcohol
He was reprimanded for a drunk driving arrest and conviction in Lincoln County. He was censured for admissions that he took the bench under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs and held bond hearings at the jail while under the influence. He was also cited for being impaired on other occasions. Witnesses reported seeing him confused and mentally impaired and said he had to be guided through his docket on one occasion.
He has admitted an alcohol problem and is participating in a rehab program. He's agreed to attend AA, submit to regular blood testing, not drink and not take prescription drugs except as directed by a doctor.