Court Firings

Warren County judge fires, rehires workers; is barred from court

A part-time Warren County judge has been barred from the courthouse after he fired three court employees, told others not to talk to him, and then rescinded the orders a few hours later.

An attorney for some of the court workers told Warren County Commissioners during an emergency meeting yesterday that Judge Dallas Powers' erratic actions are causing concerns about the workers' safety. Another Warren County Judge, Donald Oda, arrived for his first day of work yesterday and found the court offices closed. Oda appointed himself chief judge yesterday afternoon, taking charge of the court staff. Powers has been on paid leave since August when five workers accused him of sexual harassment. He said he would stay away from the court while the state Attorney General and Supreme Court investigate his conduct. Powers' lawyer says he doesn't know why Powers fired the workers.