Wednesday, November 23, 2005
From Law.com: "The Queens judge who sparked an uproar when she helped a defendant escape arrest through a back exit of the courthouse should be removed from the bench, a disciplinary panel ruled Tuesday in one of its most contentious decisions on record. The judge, Supreme Court Justice Laura D. Blackburne, was immediately taken off active duty by the Office of Court Administration. She faces a lengthy suspension and then, if the Court of Appeals affirms the disciplinary ruling, the end of her nine-year judicial career.
In a 9-2 vote that included a forceful dissent, the majority of the Commission on Judicial Conduct said the judge brought the judiciary into "disrepute" when in June 2004 she ordered a court officer to escort the defendant from the courthouse via a private stairwell. Blackburne, 67, was under the impression that a detective, who was waiting outside the courtroom to arrest the defendant for an alleged robbery, had tried to mislead the court about his intentions. The defendant eventually was arrested, but the charges were dismissed...
In asking for the judge's removal, the counsel to the commission, Robert Tembeckjian, noted Blackburne's initial reaction to her behavior. According to commission records, the judge told a supervising district attorney, "I guess I really made a boo-boo." More from Law.com. . . [Mark Godsey]