Wise County Circuit Judge Joseph R. Carico resigned last Thursday, according to a Supreme Court of Virginia spokeswoman.
His two colleagues on the 30th Circuit bench announced in early June that Carico would not be hearing cases until further notice, and sources with some knowledge of the situation said the resignation occurred after a hearing last week in Richmond before the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission.
JIRC proceedings are secret, and the absence of information about Carico’s departure from the bench led to speculation that it was based on an automobile accident in which Carico was involved last year.
No charges were filed as a result of the early morning crash, but a passenger in the car was a man who was on probation from circuit court.
The probationer told the Bristol Herald Courier that the single-vehicle wreck occurred while Carico was giving him a ride home after playing video games with the judge. The probationer denied any impropriety by him or Carico.
Court records showed the Carico has recused himself from proceedings involving the man, the Herald Courier reported.
By Alan Cooper