Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Mean Streets Of Batavia

The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has ordered an agreed censure of a "relatively new" town court justice.

Charge I of the Complaint alleged from December 2020 through April 2021, in comments and posts on her Facebook account, respondent used profane, demeaning and otherwise inappropriate language, and revealed having engaged in offensive and otherwise inappropriate behavior, both on matters related and unrelated to her role in the legal system. Charge II alleged that from July 2021 through October 2021, through her Facebook account, respondent improperly endorsed two candidates running for elective office: a candidate for elective judicial office and a candidate for election to an area school board. Respondent filed an Answer dated July 26, 2022.

On July 18, 2023, the Administrator, respondent’s counsel and respondent entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts (“Agreed Statement”) pursuant to Section 44, subdivision 5, of the Judiciary Law, stipulating that the Commission make its determination based upon the agreed facts, recommending that respondent be censured and waiving further submissions and oral argument.

Facebook posts

On an unknown date after respondent became a judge, she posted to her Facebook page the following:

“Driving down the mean streets of Batavia after tanning and thought I recognized the ass of one of my favorite marines walking through the Tops parking lot lol ���� It’s been too long! Good to see ya, ya fucking boot! ���������” 

In December 2020, respondent posted to her Facebook page the following:

“Fuck No …. the first incoming call from a client on my first day of vacation just came in at 8:56am. Seriously people I have enough work shit to catch up on during my time off, I’m not answering the phones!!!”

In March 2021, respondent posted to her Facebook page the following:

“…You know what’s more therapeutic than shopping? Cross examining someone and being absolutely FUCKING AWESOME at ripping them apart on the stand like the baddest bitch there is!!!!! #ladyboss #bossbitch BAHAHAHA!...” (emphasis in original). This post garnered 57 reactions and 31 comments from Facebook users before respondent removed it in April 2021, after her supervising judge spoke to her about it.

In March 2021, respondent posted the following comments on a reshared Facebook page post, originally posted seven years earlier:

A. “Omg everyone was so fucking hungover lol;” and

B. “I remember drawing a dick on his face when he passed out on the plane lol.”

She also had "liked" Pages for a judicial and school board candidate.

She averred a lack of familiarity with Facebook settings and 

Respondent commits to be especially mindful of her ethical obligations in any future use of social media.

(Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink


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