Former West Virginia judge David W. Hummel Jr has been publicly admonished by the state Judicial Investigation Commission.

The Judicial Disciplinary Counsel ruled 7-0 that probable cause exists to find Hummel violated the Code of Judicial Conduct regarding compliance with the law, confidence in the judiciary, avoiding abuse of the prestige of judicial office as well as decorum, demeanor and communication with jurors.

In the admonishment, Hummel agrees to never seek judicial office in West Virginia again and to accept the admonishment.

Hummel put in his resignation on Wednesday, November 23. Hummel was accused of brandishing a gun in a courtroom. He did not mention the alleged gun incident in his resignation letter.

The admonishment also says Hummel, as chief judge of the Second Circuit entered an order in 2013 allowing judges to possess a firearm in and about the premises constituting Courthouses and/or Magistrate Courts throughout the circuit. The order does however say those with firearms should take measures to ensure guns are concealed.

Also in the admonishment, Hummel allegedly held in-person interviews with an appointed guardian present with two minor daughters involving a case that they were sexually abused by their father. The admonishment said the girls were hiding under a table and were distracted.

“Respondent (Hummel) repeatedly accused the elder daughter, then age seven, of lying which in turn brought her to tears,” the admonishment states. “Respondent concluded that the younger daughter, then age six, had implicated the mother in a ‘sinister’ plot to falsify allegations against the father even though the judge was the first person to use the word ‘plan’ when questioning the little girl,’ said the admonishment.

Hummel ruled the children were not abused but the admonishment says Hummel failed to make necessary findings of law required by state code. The Supreme Court told Hummel to issue a new order ‘ to establish whether the children were abused and/or neglected.”

Hummel issued an order a few weeks later saying there was no clean evidence of abuse by the father and dismissed the case. The Supreme Court again ruled Hummel violated state Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings by leading witnesses in his questioning of the children. The ruling was vacated and remanded back to a different judge for proceedings.

“He had absolutely no business calling a child of tender years a liar or suggesting to an impressionable six-year-old that she had engaged in some ‘sinister plan’ regarding her father. When dealing with young children, judges should remember at all times that they are not wooden toys that can be repaired with ease. They are living beings with thoughts and feelings who are coming into a huge unknown called ‘court’ to talk to what a child may perceive as a scary individual called ‘judge’ and must be treated with charity, understanding and patience. Respondent failed to do so and is admonished for his conduct, ‘ said the admonishment.

The admonishment says the formal discipline of Hummel was not necessary because Hummel resigned.