News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:59 a.m. EDT

Kentucky judge accused of threatening police is suspended

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky judge accused of a long list of belligerent behavior including name-calling, unethically presiding over cases, and threatening a “bullet in the head” for the next police officer to pull him over has been suspended.

In all, Pike County Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs faces 10 counts of misconduct. He was temporarily suspended with pay Tuesday pending a final ruling by the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission. Another hearing will be held, and the commission’s options could include removing Combs from the bench, suspending or reprimanding him.

Combs was disappointed by the suspension, said Steve Ryan, one of his attorneys.

“He works hard,” Ryan said Wednesday. “All indications are that he’s a good judge when he’s on the bench.”

The allegations against him include phone calls to Pikeville police — one in December in which Combs is accused of contacting a captain to demand an investigation of automated calls he received regarding drinking and driving during the holidays.

Combs then said the next officer who pulled him over would get a “bullet in the head,” according to the commission.


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