Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Judging and Romance Just Don't Mix

Judgebench_1Not that husband and wife teams can't coexist well in the same workplace (I've seen it work up close and personal in my own workplace), but here is one instance in the judicial context where things went mighty awry (facts below garnered from a Supreme Court of Wyoming Order of Public Censure by Mike Frisch at the Legal Profession Blog):

The judge had hired an employee to work with him when he was in the county attorney's office. Romance ensued.  He married the employee and made her his chief clerk after taking the bench. The judge treated staff and litigants with dignity and respect; his wife did not.

The allegations against [the wife] included mistreatment of staff and litigants, letting a dog run loose in court, letting the telephone ring in open court without answering and working a swimming pool job that cut into her court work . . . . The judge referred to her as "she who is to be feared."

Well, the judge ended up retiring after his wife resigned in a huff, and all the judge has to show for it is a public censure for judicial misconduct and a nearly $12,000 bill for the fees and costs of the censure proceeding.

Who let the dogs out, indeed.



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