7A-376. Grounds for discipline by Commission; public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal by the Supreme Court.

(a) The Commission, upon a determination that any judge has engaged in conduct that violates the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct as adopted by the Supreme Court but that is not of such a nature as would warrant a recommendation of public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal, may issue to the judge a private letter of caution.

(b) Upon recommendation of the Commission, the Supreme Court may issue a public reprimand, censure, suspend, or remove any judge for willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to perform the judge's duties, habitual intemperance, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute. A judge who is suspended for any of the foregoing reasons shall receive no compensation during the period of that suspension. A judge who is removed for any of the foregoing reasons shall receive no retirement compensation and is disqualified from holding further judicial office.

(c) Upon recommendation of the Commission, the Supreme Court may suspend, for a period of time the Supreme Court deems necessary, any judge for temporary physical or mental incapacity interfering with the performance of the judge's duties, and may remove any judge for physical or mental incapacity interfering with the performance of the judge's duties which is, or is likely to become, permanent. A judge who is suspended for temporary incapacity shall continue to receive compensation during the period of the suspension. A judge removed for mental or physical incapacity is entitled to retirement compensation if the judge has accumulated the years of creditable service required for incapacity or disability retirement under any provision of State law, but he shall not sit as an emergency justice or judge. (1971, c. 590, s. 1; 1979, c. 486, s. 2; 2006-187, s. 11; 2013-404, s. 2.)