Yavapai County judge resigns following extreme DUI charge

(This video is from May 2023) Arizona’s Family Investigates spoke with over two dozen people who appeared before Judge Cele Hancock in family court, accusing her of acting inappropriately.
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 7:49 PM MST
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PRESCOTT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A Yavapai County judge who agreed to a plea deal following an extreme DUI charge in March is giving up her gavel. Arizona’s Commission on Judicial Conduct said on Friday that Celé Hancock has resigned and won’t serve as a “judicial officer” ever again in the state. The move also means the state agency is dropping its investigation into disciplining Hancock. She had been a judge in Yavapai County since 2010.

Back on March 19, a Prescott Police officer pulled her over near state Route 89 near Copper Basin Road just after 4 p.m. near the Safeway. Somebody apparently had said she was drunk and stumbling inside the store. The officer was asked if she was drinking. In the body-camera video, she denies drinking but then admitted to drinking and driving, saying she had a couple of glasses of wine “a couple of hours ago.”

She failed a field sobriety test and then told the officers who she was. “I just feel bad; I just told that one; I’m a judge here. I’m just a person like anyone else,” Hancock said. Following a breathalyzer test, she mentions her position of authority again. “Do you know I’m a judge here?” Hancock said. “I don’t want to use that. I don’t want to use that. I really don’t,” she explained. Her BAC was reportedly 0.219.

She was charged with extreme DUI but pleaded guilty to a class 1 misdemeanor DUI charge, spent a day in jail and paid a fine of $1,650. After her arrest, Arizona’s Family Investigates talked to more than a dozen people who said she was inappropriate on the bench.

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