Arizona judge denies knowing live-in boyfriend was fugitive

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PHOENIX -- An Arizona trial judge who has handled several prominent cases denied knowing that her live-in boyfriend was a fugitive with a criminal record before he was arrested at her home.

Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court released a brief statement through a court spokeswoman saying she did not know about Michael Kent Krause's criminal background. She declined to be interviewed Tuesday.

"I did not know that Mr. Krause had a felony conviction or any criminal record, for that matter, or that he is a registered sex offender. I learned this information for the first time on Tuesday after his arrest," the judge said.

Krause, 52, was arrested Jan. 6 at Cooper's Phoenix home on a fugitive warrant stemming from a larceny indictment issued in New York City. A court document filed in Arizona in connection with New York's extradition request said Krause is a registered sex offender.

In California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records state that Krause served prison sentences in the late 1980s and early 1990s for crimes including burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with intent to commit a sex offense.

The judge's relationship with Krause was first reported late Monday.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge allowed Krause's release on $5,000 bond pending extradition proceedings. Krause's case has since been assigned to a judge from Pima County.

In a separate statement, Cooper said Krause "no longer resides at my residence."

Cooper is assigned to civil cases in Maricopa County Superior Court, the state's largest trial court. She has handled several high-profile cases, including a legal challenge to the expansion of Arizona's Medicaid program under the federal health care law.

Arizona judges must abide by numerous rules on such matters as impartiality, integrity and extrajudicial activities.

George Riemer, executive director of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct, said no state rule specifically governs with whom a judge can live.