Thursday, December 13, 2007

Interim Suspension For Cell Phone Judge

The New York Court of Appeals entered an order today suspending a Niagara Falls City Court Judge with pay pending final disposition of proceedings. This is the case that involved a judge who threatened to jail and revoked recognizance release of 46 defendants when no one in his courtroom "took responsibility for a ringing cell phone." The judge had brought his wrath down only on defendants, not prosecutors, defense attorneys or court personnel. The Commission on Judicial Conduct has proposed the removal of the judge. There are two dissents from that proposed sanction. One dissent notes:

"Although the ultimate cause of respondent’s bizarre behavior that day may never be known with certainty, it is uncontroverted that the conduct was a profound aberration in an otherwise unblemished career.  On a human level, I simply do not believe that such an episode should outweigh a lengthy, distinguished career of public service." (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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