SALEM, Ore. – The case of a Marion County judge facing felony weapons charges went before a judge on Friday.
It was because Judge Vance Day's attorney filed a motion to have the case thrown out. The defense believes Marion County District Attorney Walter Beglau acted illegally in the process of requesting the State Attorney General’s office handle the case. Belgau testified in court on Friday that he made and was granted the request so that there would be no appearance of a conflict of interest.
Day is facing two felony weapons charges for allegedly providing a gun to a felon, a man who was in the judge’s veteran’s treatment court. Judge Day also faces two misdemeanor official misconduct charges.
Judge Day is not without controversy. A state review commission previously looked into allegations he directed staff to turn away same sex couples who came to his court to be married and put up a picture of Adolf Hitler on a courthouse wall. The judicial fitness commission recommended that Day be ousted from his job for a long list of reasons
Friday, District Attorney Beglau offered testimony citing reasons why he believed he was within Oregon law in handling the process of getting the state DOJ to take the case, although his name is still on the indictment against Day.
“It was a community decision to have an independent review and consideration of it, and I think any reasonable citizen would respect that and say that's a good idea,” said Beglau.
Unless the judge grants the motion to dismiss, the trial is set to begin July 10.