Friday, November 15, 2013

That's What Friends Aren't For

The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has proposed the removal of an Albany County Surrogate's Court Judge for misconduct in office.

A press release noted that the judge had been publicly censured for giving "evasive and deceptive" and "misleading and obstructionist" testimony in a proceeding before the commission.

Here, the judge

[f]rom 2007 to 2011...failed to disqualify herself from, and took judicial actions in, nine matters involving attorneys with whom she had close professional and personal relationships: four matters involving her close friend and personal attorney, Thomas J. Spargo; four matters involving attorney Matthew J. Kelly, the judge's de facto campaign manager in her 2007 failed campaign for a nomination to the state Supreme Court and later the campaign manager in her 2010 campaign for reelection as Surrogate; and one matter involving William Cade, the attorney who represented her in an earlier Commission proceeding that resulted in her censure in 2007.

The commission rejected the suggeastion that the matters were "ministerial" in nature and that her failure to disqualify was an appropriate exercise of discretion.

A dissent notes that the cases were non-adversarial in nature. (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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