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Thank Judge Baugh for 30 years of dedication

2014-08-04T00:00:00Z 2014-08-04T12:01:05Z Thank Judge Baugh for 30 years of dedication The Billings Gazette
August 04, 2014 12:00 am

The community should thank Judge Todd Baugh for over 30 years of dedicated service as District Court judge.

I served as a colleague with Baugh for 11 years. He is a dedicated, competent and diligent judge. He pulled his weight in the district with the heaviest case load in the state.

He has been demonized for comments and a decision made in one case. When the case went viral, it was obvious that national commentators had no knowledge concerning its procedural status. He tried to apologize for his comments but was ignored. When it was brought to his attention that the sentence may have been illegal, he tried to reschedule the sentencing and was not allowed to do so. Although a judge is often criticized for any decision, I am sure that Baugh had what he thought were appropriate reasons when making his decision. A sentencing judge has more information than is generally available to the public.

People involved in special interest groups have suggested that Baugh should immediately resign to protect children and families. His entire career he handled more than his share of confidential abuse and neglect cases which are burdensome and difficult. He has protected children and families in hundreds of such cases in his many years of service.

It is unfortunate that Baugh's long and distinguished career is marred for comments made during sentencing in one case. He should be thanked for his dedicated service in thousands of cases. I am proud to have been his colleague.

Maurice R. Colberg Jr.

Billings

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