February 25, 2009
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has censured a judge of the Monroe County Family Court who had, according to the commission's news release:
...ordered her secretary to perform babysitting duties on several occasions for her two young children. [The judge] also required her secretary to perform personal typing duties for her husband and to access a confidential court database to get information for the judge's husband.
The commission's decision is linked here. The confidential secretary had been "very close friends" with the judge for 37 years and had provided uncompensated babysitting help for the judge, as well as typing for the husband, prior to her election. The judge's children called her Aunt Kimmy. After assuming office, the judge hired the friend and "wrongly believed" that personal chores went with the job. The judge fired the secretary after learning that the outside help was improper and that the secretary had surreptitiously recorded a conversation on the subject. The now-former friend sued the judge in federal court for retaliatory discharge. The civil suit settled without admission of liability. (Mike Frisch)
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