Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has admonished a judge for his Facebook posts
The Formal Written Complaint alleged that from July 21, 2020 through October 16, 2020, respondent publicly displayed on his Facebook page: (A) two photographs of himself wearing an Ontario County Sheriff’s uniform, and (B) a post with his personal comments expressing his appreciation for law enforcement officers and describing his appearance at a “Back the Blue” event, which was held to show support for law enforcement. The post and photos garnered hundreds of “likes” and comments from other Facebook users. It was also alleged that respondent engaged in this conduct notwithstanding having been cautioned by the Commission in April 2019 for an inappropriate Facebook post regarding a candidate then running for a law enforcement position.
The photo was taken at his daughter's graduation from the police academy and pictured him in uniform after he had retired
By July 21, 2020, respondent’s “cover photo” had garnered approximately 277 Facebook “likes,” two “shares,” and 37 comments from other Facebook users. His public post containing the text and the second photograph...had garnered approximately 940 Facebook “likes,” 355 “shares,” and 219 comments from other Facebook users. Among the comments was one that identified him as “Judge!”
Respondent now recognizes that individuals viewing his Facebook posts, and seeing him in a law enforcement uniform, would reasonably question his ability to conduct himself in a fair and impartial manner while presiding over cases involving law enforcement.
Respondent takes full responsibility for his actions and has been cooperative and contrite with the Commission throughout its inquiry. He regrets his failure to abide by the Rules in this matter. He pledges to conduct himself in accordance with the Rules for the remainder of his tenure as a judge.