Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tireless Efforts

The Washington Post reports that a Maryland circuit court judge is under investigation on an (apparently admitted) charge that he let the air out of the tires of a car parked near the courthouse. The judge is quoted as saying to the chief administrative judge that the matter was not a "big deal." Further:

Nally [The judge] told [another paper] that someone had repeatedly parked in a restricted zone and that he had left notes for the driver. Letting the air out of a tire was less inconvenient to the driver than having the car towed, Nalley said.

The owner of the Toyota, Jean Washington, said Wednesday that she had not received a note or a verbal warning to stay away from the parking area where she left her car Monday.

"The only warning I got was when he flattened my tire," Washington said.

Washington, 51, works part time at the courthouse as part of an evening cleaning crew. Until Monday, she said, she had parked in the same area without any trouble. There is a sign notifying drivers that the area is a restricted parking zone and that motorists are required to have a permit between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. There are no signs or markings indicating that spaces are reserved for Nalley or anyone else.

Washington said that she parked at 3:30 p.m. Monday and was told by a sheriff's deputy about 15 minutes later that Nalley was deflating one of her tires.

Washington said she did not have a permit to park in the area and would not have done so if she had been told she was not supposed to. Washington said she chose the spot because it is close to the courthouse and, because her work shift typically ends at 8:30 p.m., she doesn't like to walk to another parking lot in the dark.

Washington said Nalley should have called police or had her car towed rather than deflate the tire.

"If my car had been towed, that would have been my responsibility," Washington said. "If I had been ticketed, that would have been my responsibility."

(Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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