District Court Judge Charles Budd is shown in this June 2020 file photo. Credit: Natlie Williams / BDN

A District Court judge in Bangor has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into a “confidential matter,” according to a spokesperson for the court system.

Charles F. Budd Jr., 53, of Bangor was placed on administrative leave earlier this week by Chief Justice Valerie Stanfill. The reasons for the leave are not public, according to Barbara Cardone, the media liaison for the judiciary.

Budd was appointed in December 2015 to the District Court bench by former Gov. Paul LePage. He most recently led the Penobscot County Adult Drug Treatment Court during the pandemic. The drug court is an alternative to jail for offenders with a substance use disorder.

District Court Judge Patrick Larson is taking over that task, according to the court clerk’s office in Bangor. It was not clear Friday when Larson was asked to take on drug court.

Budd did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State judges in Maine must abide by the Maine Judicial Code of Conduct, which outlines canons about fairness and impartiality, conflicts of interests, addressing cases in a timely manner and conduct that reflects adversely on the integrity of the judiciary.

Complaints about judicial misconduct are handled by the Committee on Judicial Misconduct, which is made up of two judges, one each from the Superior and District courts, two lawyers, and three members of the public. Complaints made to the committee are not public. Only decisions that find violations of the code are announced once an investigation is complete.

The committee’s work is similar to that of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, which oversees the conduct of lawyers licensed to practice in Maine. It can recommend additional training in specific areas, suspension, and, in rare cases, disbarment.