The New Hampshire Attorney General says it is opening a criminal investigation into a circuit court judge for allegedly altering court paperwork with white out while she was under a separate investigation by the judicial branch for failing to recuse herself from a case involving a lawyer with whom she had a “long-standing close friendship.”
State prosecutors announced their criminal investigation in Judge Julie Introcaso the same day that the Judicial Conduct Committee released a 13-page document detailing her alleged violations of the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct.
Introcaso has been on administrative leave since January 21. The court announced on Thursday that she is now suspended without pay.
The complaint by the committee alleges that while serving as a circuit court judge, Introcaso, who was appointed to the bench in 2012, oversaw a child custody case for approximately six months despite having a friendship with a lawyer who was serving as a guardian ad litem in the matter.
During that six month window, Introcaso signed off on rulings that related to the guardian ad litem’s fees and method of payment.
In March 2019, Introcaso recused herself from the matter citing her conflict of interest. After receiving a complaint from one of the parties in the case, the Judicial Conduct Committee then opened an investigation in the matter.
During that investigation, Introcaso is alleged to have taken the court file into her private chambers and altering the court orders with white out tape.
According to the statement of charges released by the committee, Introcaso denies using white out on the court documents.
The Attorney General’s office says it is investigating whether Introcaso altered physical evidence or tampered with public records, both of which carry potential felony charges.
Introcaso will have a hearing in December before the Judicial Conduct Committee.
(Editor's note: This story was updated as additional information became available.)