Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to a stipulation for discipline by consent conditioned on the judge’s irrevocable retirement from judicial office, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a judge for (1) his promotion of and participation in a dubious investment scheme, including keeping a payment of $20,000 from one of the principals even though he knew that the investors had not received any of the profits they had been promised and despite knowing that the principals had all been convicted at trial of or pled guilty to federal criminal offenses; (2) telling some investors that he believed their profits would be forthcoming and otherwise discouraging them from complaining to government authorities; (3) instructing court staff to put calls from the principals in the investment scheme through to him on the bench or in his chambers; (4) avoiding his financial obligations over a lengthy period by writing worthless checks, making false promises and misrepresentations to creditors, and otherwise engaging in delaying tactics; and (5) on numerous occasions, remanding defendants based on his “smell test” of the defendants’ hair and/or his examination of their eyes.  Inquiry Concerning Aaron (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 8, 2002) .
  • The New York Court of Appeals publicly admonished a judge a judge for referring to herself as a “graduate” of the judicial law courses that she took in her capacity as court clerk.  In the Matter of Shanley, 774 N.E.2d 735 (New York 2002).
  • Affirming a decision by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, a Texas Special Court of Review publicly reprimanded a judge who had engaged in a personal vendetta to destroy the reputation of a young prosecutor; used profane, distasteful, and inappropriate language in a letter to the district attorney; and publicly attacked the district attorney’s office by sending the letter to the media.  In re Davis, 82 S.W.2d 140 (Texas Special Court of Review 2002).

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