What they said that got them in trouble in the first half of 2017

  • “If you speak I’m going to put you in handcuffs and put you in jail.” Judge to assistant district attorney who had asked to speak when the judge indicated he was going to dismiss charges in a high profile murder case after a mistrial.  In the Matter of Piampiano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 13, 2017) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “Give this to Judge Hawthorne and have him dismiss it for me.”  Judge to court clerk about traffic ticket received by an acquaintance.  In the Matter of Aluzzi, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 26, 2017) (censure).
  • “Un-cuff Zohra . . . . I think she’s learned a lesson.”  Judge who had ordered his bailiff to handcuff a deputy public defender to a chair when she continued to argue for leniency as he sentenced her client.  In the Matter of Hafen, Stipulation and order of consent (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline February 27, 2017) (censure).
  • “I’m not appointing them right now, I’m waiting 60 days to – so the public defender cannot disqualify me.” Judge to clerk while giving back form for appointment of counsel for a defendant during dispute with public defender.  In re Mennemeyer, 505 S.W.3d 282 (Missouri 2017) (6-month suspension without pay for this and other misconduct).
  • “IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED THAT: Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”  Chief Justice in administrative order disregarding federal court injunction.  Moore v Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court April 19, 2017) (suspension until end of term).
  • “We have at least one magistrate who will do same-sex marriages, but I will not be able to.” Judge to reporter.  Inquiry Concerning Neely, 390 P.3d 728 (Wyoming 2017) (censure).
  • “I’m not sure, Cody, that I can recall, in recent times, somebody being that sympathetic a figure.” Judge to reporter about the defendant in 1 of 3 media interviews he gave shortly after declaring a mistrial in a high profile murder case.  In the Matter of Piampiano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 13, 2017) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “Time for a tree and a rope . . .” Judge in comment on the sheriff’s Facebook post about the arrest of an African-American man for the killing of a police officer.  Amended Public Reprimand of Oakley and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 8, 2017).
  • “Colored.” Judge referring to black people but, he stated, “never in the courtroom or directed at one particular individual.”  Public Reprimand of DeLaPaz and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 17, 2017).
  • “Ok, I’m not gonna argue with you.  I will throw you out of this office, though.”  Judge before escorting out of his office a member of the public who had asked to see the case files on a particular defendant.  Public Warning of Alford and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 28, 2017).
  • “Barack Obama & Gary Johnson Party at the White House . . . .” False and misleading caption to photo-shopped picture in a campaign flyer attacking an incumbent judge.   In the Matter of Callaghan, 796 S.E.2d 604 (West Virginia 2017) (2-year suspension without pay and $15,000 fine).
  • “’Ms. Shepard has done well. She has kept her promises.  She has worked hard.  She has maintained her integrity.’ – The Orlando Sentinel.”  Judicial candidate’s mailer using an edited version of a newspaper endorsement for her 1994 legislative re-election campaign in her 2014 judicial campaign.  Inquiry Concerning Shepard, 217 So. 3d 71 (Florida 2017) (90-day suspension without pay).
  • “Karen Shatzle [sic] has sex with defense lawyer whike [sic] shw [sic] is a DA on his cases and nobody cares. Interesting politics.”  Judge about a judicial candidate on the bar association Facebook page with knowing or reckless disregard to the truth of the statement.   In the Matter Concerning Ferguson, Public admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 31, 2017) (public admonishment for this and other misconduct).

 

 

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