Monday, November 8, 2010

The Smiling Turtle

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has ordered the removal of a judge of the Saratoga County Family Court. The commission concluded that the judge had repeatedly locked up litigants while denying the right to counsel and to a hearing. The periods of incarceration ranged from 21 to 268 days.

The judge also made "egregious and inexcusable" comments of a sexual nature to litigants on two occasions. As reported by its press release, the commission noted:

His gratuitous remarks, which were prompted by an innocuous caricature on a litigant's t-shirt, were ribald and replete with sexual innuendo.

The T-shirt at issue had a caricature of a smiling turtle and the caption "cranky but adorable so I'm worth it." Among other comments, the judge said of the shirt "it's very phallic, and it's a penis with a smile on it."

Removal renders him ineligible for future judicial office. He had previously been cautioned for failing to advise litigants of their right to counsel. (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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