Chief Justice Leroy Hassell hopes to reinstate the state’s judicial performance evaluation program that was scrapped this year after a flap over the privacy of the reports on judges’ performance.
Hassell told a meeting of the Judicial Conference of Virginia today he wants to work out an understanding with legislative leaders that the evaluations will not be publicly released. “Once we are able to agree on a permanent solution that will ensure the confidentiality of these evaluations, we will once again seek funding from the General Assembly for the restoration of the program,” Hassell said.
“We remain confident that the judicial performance evaluation program is beneficial to our judges. Many judges who participated in the program have informed the justices that the program was very helpful to them. Legislators of both political parties have stated that the evaluations have improved the quality of the judicial reelection process and that the evaluations proved to be a tremendous benefit to you, our judges,” Hassell told the gathering in Roanoke.
The JPE program is currently “suspended,” Hassell said, since the General Assembly eliminated funding.
By Peter Vieth