Robing Ceremony for Catherine Wilking

District Judge Catherine Wilking is congratulated by longtime friend Ceil Lindsey after her robing ceremony in 2011. Wilking has been appointed to the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics.

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A Natrona County District Court judge has been appointed to a statewide commission governing judges’ ethical conduct.

Catherine Wilking, of Casper, was appointed to the 12-member Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics after being elected by her fellow judges, the commission announced Wednesday.

The commission is tasked with reviewing and investigating complaints that allege judicial misconduct. It can also choose to initiate investigations of its own accord.

The ethics committee made news in 2016 after sending a Pinedale magistrate before the state supreme court for refusing to marry gay couples. She was eventually censured by the court and ordered to perform marriages for both gay and straight couples or none at all. The court also censured a retired Sublette County judge in 2007 following a commission investigation for failure to exercise proper oversight over a court clerk who was also his wife.

Six private citizens compose the commission, along with three lawyers and three judges. The private citizens are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate, while lawyers are appointed by the state bar association.

Wilking took the seat vacated by retired Rawlins judge Wade E. Waldrip.

Wilking was sworn in as a district court judge in 2011. In her time on the bench, she sentenced a Casper couple to a combined 90 years in prison for ongoing sexual assault, ruled that Casper municipal court had been illegally sentencing minors to probation for possessing alcohol and sentenced a probation officer to a Casper Re-Entry Center program for stealing probationers’ drugs and a puppy.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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