August 29, 2012
Going To The Dogs
The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has accepted an agreed statement of facts and ordered a public censure of a town court justice on charges that she had "failed to expeditiously transfer from her court tickets issued to herself and her sons for violations of a dog-control ordinance, sent improper messages to the animal control officer and the judges of the transferee court, and failed to maintain proper records of the tickets."
There are concurring opinions and a dissent.
The dissent by member Richard Emery invokes George Orwell and calls the actions a corrupt effort to transfer blame from the justice to her children:
This sort of bald-face, corrupt behavior should not be clothed in bland, obfuscatory language...Perhaps it is even worse because she was using her official position not only to benefit herself, but to do so by incriminating others - her children....I believe that the matter should proceed to a hearing at which respondent will get the due process she does not seem to understand, even for her own children."
The tickets at issue involved charges of Dogs Running At Large. The justice had told the transferee judges that "Hanna" was owned by her son Mark and that "Sophie" was her son Matthew's dog. (Mike Frisch)
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