February 27, 2001 (MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) – A Minnesota judge has apologized for calling an accused killer’s public defenders “unethical cowards.” In a statement released to the news media Monday, District Judge Dale Wolf blamed his conduct on “fatigue and illness” and said his remarks were “inappropriate and wrong.” The Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards reprimanded the judge for his conduct last month.
Wolf scolded the lawyers representing Donald Blom when a plea bargain collapsed in 1999. Blom was convicted last year of abducting and killing 19-year-old Katie Poirier of Moose Lake.
The judge returned to the bench in December after being on medical leave for more than a year. The board said he was not punished as harshly as he could have been for his lapse because he was suffering from untreated bipolar disorder at the time.