Chief Colo. district judge to resign |

Chief Colo. district judge to resign

DENVER ” Edward W. Nottingham, the chief federal district judge in Colorado who oversaw the insider trading trial of former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio, plans to resign, according to Denver news media reports.

The Rocky Mountain News and KUSA-TV reported Thursday that Nottingham will step down. The Rocky cited three sources “with knowledge of his decision” it did not identify.

It wasn’t clear whether any such move would be related to at least two judicial misconduct complaints against Nottingham.

Nottingham could not be reached by telephone and did not respond to an e-mail request for comment. A message left for Nottingham’s attorney, Stephen Peters, was not immediately returned.

A clerk with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees judicial misconduct investigations, said no public documents were available that could immediately confirm the report.

In March, Robert H. Henry, chief judge of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, said in court documents that he would take under advisement a complaint that a district court judge had “brought disrepute to the judiciary.”

Henry did not identify the judge. But Sean Harrington, who heads a legal technology firm, confirmed he had filed the complaint in January.

Harrington’s complaint cited news reports that Nottingham allegedly viewed adult Web sites on his government computer in his chambers.

Harrington’s complaint also alleged that Nottingham had testified in a divorce case that he spent $3,000 at a strip club. Sealed transcripts of the divorce case were obtained in August 2007 by KUSA-TV.

Another complaint involved a September 2007 dispute between Nottingham and attorney Jeanne Elliott over a parking spot for the disabled. Nottingham had parked in the spot, and Elliott parked her wheelchair behind his vehicle and refused to get out of his way. Police issued Nottingham a $100 ticket.

Nottingham issued a statement when KUSA-TV reported the incident in October 2007, saying he regretted parking in the handicapped space.

Nottingham presided over the high-profile trial of Nacchio, who was convicted of insider trading last year. Nacchio appealed and a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit ordered a new trial, saying Nottingham improperly prevented a defense expert from testifying. The full bench is reviewing that decision.

Nottingham, an Eagle County native, took up his position on the federal bench in November 1989. He became chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Colorado last year.

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