June 11--A former Akron Municipal Court judge faces state disciplinary action based on claims he had an affair with the defendant in an eviction case, an allegation he once denied.
Orlando J. Williams is also accused of forging loan documents to purchase a used car and of improperly spending settlement money earmarked for three children whose father died in a crash, according to disciplinary records released Wednesday through the Ohio Supreme Court.
Williams, who was appointed judge in 2009 and later served three years as a chief civil magistrate after losing his election bid, is named in the 10-page complaint filed by Scott Drexel, disciplinary counsel for Supreme Court's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.
The board has the power to suspend or revoke the law licenses of attorneys.
A message seeking comment from Williams was not immediately returned. He now lives in Fairfield, in southwestern Ohio.
According to Supreme Court rules, Williams has an opportunity to respond to the allegations, or have a public hearing before a disciplinary panel in four to six months.
Williams, 57, abruptly resigned as a magistrate in July 2012 amid allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a woman whose eviction case had been pending in his court.
At the time, Williams denied to reporters that he was having a sexual relationship with the woman. He called her an acquaintance.
According to the disciplinary records, however, Williams did begin a sexual relationship with the woman soon after first meeting her when she appeared in court in March 2012 to answer the eviction notice.
Shortly afterward the hearing, Williams drove to the 25-year-old woman's rental property and invited her for coffee, Drexel's investigation shows.
"During the conversation, [Williams] flirted with [the woman] and referred to the [landlord] as a slum lord," Drexel wrote.
Within days of the coffee meeting, Drexel contends, the two engaged in consensual sex. Williams failed to immediately recuse himself from the woman's eviction case. She later left the rental property in April, but Williams held onto the case to determine damages due the landlord until late June.
As the Beacon Journal and other media were reviewing court records on the eviction and Williams' potential conflict, he suddenly resigned as magistrate. He said his desire to return to private practice -- and not his relationship with the woman -- was the reason for resigning.
Four weeks before recusing himself, however, the woman was heard on a dash-camera video -- taken May 20, 2012 while she was being arrested on a charge of drunken driving -- urging a State Highway Patrol trooper to contact Williams, whom she twice refers to as her boyfriend.
Williams also is accused of forging loan records to inflate his salary in March 2013 to purchase a used sedan from Summit Toyota for $21,900. He did not reveal to the loan company that he had been fired from Byron Potts Co. days earlier, according to court records. The sedan later was repossessed.
He also is accused of withdrawing for his personal use about $11,000 from an account designated to be given to three minor children of a 26-year-old Akron man who died in a traffic crash in 2006. The account, which contained $11,496 in November 2012, now has about $321, records show.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or email@example.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PhilTrexler
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