At last week's hearing, Watkins - who was first elected a family judge in 2002 -- admitted to all of the charges, and blamed stress from a large caseload and health problems for his behavior.
The recommendations released Tuesday included notes from an investigator's evaluation of Watkins. The investigator said that Watkins "said he is angry and that what has happened to him is unjustified because 'they have an unrealistic notion of what it's like to be a Family Court Judge.' There are limited options to do with litigations."
The investigator reported, according to the hearing board, that Watkins said, "'it's all going to go away. They will realize I'm the best family judge in West Virginia, without any question ... The Supreme Court is guilty of kowtowing to public opinion and showing a total lack of appreciation.'"
According to the recommendations, the investigator said that Watkins "appears to be rather rigid, stubborn, and angry at others"; that his complaints of health problems seemed "vague or unusual"; and that his possibly "delusional symptoms should be evaluated."
The evaluator went on to say Watkins is "suspicious of others," "views the world as a threatening place, sees himself as having been unjustly blamed for others' problems, and feels that he is getting a raw deal out of life ... He is intensely angry at others and feels that they do not understand him ...
"He has a generally hostile manner of interacting with others ... individuals with this personality style are not very receptive to suggestions from others."
The evaluator also called Watkins impulsive and argumentative, and that "without an appropriate and timely intervention, more serious physical, emotional or behavioral issues may emerge."
In their recommendations, the hearing board wrote that Watkins demonstrated "contempt for authority," "a lack of diligence," and "a lack of courtesy, civility, decorum and judicial comportment in the conduct of hearings," among other things.
Watkins said during the hearing he would participate in counseling and agreed to pay almost $18,000 for the cost of the investigation. The hearing board recommended that Watkins pay that amount.Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723. Webbed: yes