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Greif should resign

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Greif has apologized for “inappropriate language” in a lengthy series of text messages she exchanged with a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the drug and alcohol treatment agency OnTrack. The language is the least of it.

The texts were revealed as part of the discovery process in a lawsuit filed by Amy Jacobs, a former client of OnTrack who later worked for the agency managing housing for clients in recovery. The lawsuit was filed in 2017, alleging verbal abuse by Rita Sullivan, the former executive director of OnTrack. The suit was settled this year.

Text messages between Jacobs and Greif reveal a sitting judge involving herself in a civil lawsuit that also concerned a colleague, then Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain, a friend of Sullivan’s who worked closely with OnTrack through the county’s Drug Court and Community Family Court. Crain retired in August 2018.

Greif clearly disliked Crain intensely, texting at one point that she “wanted to kill Crain today at (Community Family Court) graduation.” She expressed pleasure at the prospect that Sullivan would not longer lead OnTrack, adding, “Now if Crain would just go away my life would be complete.”

Greif clearly coached Jacobs on strategy, including feeding information to the news media about problems at OnTrack and coordinating with a state Child Welfare official.

Greif’s actions appear to violate the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct. She should resign.

If she doesn’t, she should face a challenge when she is next up for reelection, and the voters should decide her fate.