What they said that got them in trouble in the second half of 2022: Part 2

What they said that got them in trouble in the second half of 2022: Part 1

What they said in the pandemic

  • “Because that may require someone (staff person/IT person/lawyer who doesn’t have access to the technology?) to leave home and violate Gov. MeMaw’s order.” Judge referring to Governor Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order when cancelling a hearing scheduled to be held over Zoom. In the Matter of Patterson, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary October 27, 2022), accepting agreed resolution of a complaint (45-day suspension without pay and censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “That’s all I needed. You can go. Put the mask back on there—it’s like Gestapo-Land! Are you allowed to say that? The Taliban! It’s like the Taliban.” Judge after a witness’s testimony. In the Matter of Camilletti, Order (West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals September 20, 2022), accepting agreed resolution of a statement of charges (12-month suspension without pay, with 11 months held in abeyance, reprimand, and counseling for this and other misconduct).
  • “Too late to ask that ridiculous question. My [journal entries] reflect corona day 1, 2, or 3. Time case was called and no defendant or [failed to appear] in which my journalizer notes NO WARRANT TO ISSUE.” Judge in “patently false” text to the administrative judge denying she had issued arrest warrants for defendants who did not appear after their cases had been rescheduled due to COVID-19. Disciplinary Counsel v. Carr (Ohio Supreme Court October 18, 2022) (indefinite suspension).
  • “Brave enough [to appear].” Judge waiving fines and court costs for defendants who were in court despite the potential for exposure to COVID-19. Disciplinary Counsel v. Carr (Ohio Supreme Court October 18, 2022) (indefinite suspension).
  • “Little idiot.” Judge mocking public defender to her staff after instructing him not to tell his clients not to appear in court even though their cases had been rescheduled due to COVID-19. Disciplinary Counsel v. Carr (Ohio Supreme Court October 18, 2022) (indefinite suspension).
  • “[Tell him] to get his a** back on that phone and put all [my] civil cases back on.” Judge to her bailiff referring to the court staff person who had rescheduled her civil cases pursuant to a COVID-19 administrative order. Disciplinary Counsel v. Carr (Ohio Supreme Court October 18, 2022) (indefinite suspension).
  • “Can you imagine if this was in person?”, “I don’t seem to have the rest of this,” and “And while you’re looking through that, I’m gonna go pee.” Judge under his breath apparently to a staff member during a telephone hearing in a marital case. In the Matter of DalPra, Order (New Hampshire Supreme Court November 10, 2022) (order to pay costs), based on findings and recommendation.
  • “Like.” Judge in response to LinkedIn post stating, “Biden’s been in office 2 days and Democrat cities across the country are reducing Covid restrictions and opening indoor dining. YOU LITERALLY CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP! They ruined American businesses, livelihoods and lives for an election. This should repulse you.” In the Matter of Elia, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 28, 2022) (censure for this and other misconduct).

What they said to or about court staff or other judges

  • “Just think, if you die before me, I will get to see your naked body,” and “find a fat man like [me] because they have plenty of fat to snuggle with even though their peckers shrink.” Judge to court clerk. Public Warning of Grissam (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 22, 2022).
  • “I seen that car. I can’t even—I’m the judge and I can’t even afford a Mercedes. What you doing, selling drugs?” Judge to an African-American court employee. Jinks v. Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court October 21, 2022), affirming, Final judgment, following hearing on a complaint (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “It was just one person,” and “those sons of b**ches.” Judge referring to the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Jinks v. Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court October 21, 2022), affirming, Final judgment, following hearing on a complaint (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “What did their black a**es want?” Judge to a court employee who had assisted an African-American couple with a marriage license. Jinks v. Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court October 21, 2022), affirming, Final judgment, following hearing on a complaint (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “Don’t tell nobody but look at this.” Judge showing a court employee a video on his phone of women dancing with their breasts exposed. Jinks v. Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court October 21, 2022), affirming, Final judgment, following hearing on a complaint (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “We have a damn thief in this office. I can’t have sh*t in this office.” Judge in a tirade after not being able to find his lunch in the office refrigerator. Jinks v. Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court October 21, 2022), affirming, Final judgment, following hearing on a complaint (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “G*d d*mn snowflake.” Judge referring to circuit’s presiding judge in front of attorneys and staff. In the Matter of Patterson, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary October 27, 2022), accepting agreed resolution of a complaint (45-day suspension without pay and censure for this and other misconduct).
  • N****r.” Judge comparing calling someone a “Nazi,” to using the N-word in a Zoom meeting with several court staff members. In re Mahoney, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 9, 2022) (reprimand for this and other racially insensitive and/or race-based stereotypical comments).
  • “[She] loves watermelon.” Judge about a non-judicial court employee who is Black in an introductory online video meeting with the employee and a new judge. In re Mahoney, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 9, 2022) (reprimand for this and other racially insensitive and/or race-based stereotypical comments).
  • “You notice I’m no longer the bill collector for the Clerk’s Office. I’m not your b-*-*-c-h. See, you get it? Collect your own money. There you go, player, mm-hmm. Collect your own money, player, mm-hmm. I’m not your b-*-*-c-h. Run tell that, mm-hmm. Mmhmm. How you like them apples? Suckas.” Judge eliminating her use of warrants and incarceration to collect fines and costs. Disciplinary Counsel v. Carr (Ohio Supreme Court October 18, 2022).

What they said on social media

  • “The worst case of document hiding that I’ve ever seen. It was like a plot out of a John Grisham movie, except that it was even worse than what he could dream up.” Judge on Facebook about opioid manufacturers being sued by local governments. In re Young, Order (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct July 26, 2022) (30-day suspension with pay for this and other misconduct).
  • “Time to bring the unrest to an end.” Judge in comment on LinkedIn post by “Blue Lives Matter” that shared an article from The Police Tribune entitled, “BREAKING: Shots Fired At Louisville Riots, Officer Down.” In the Matter of Elia, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 28, 2022) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “UNTIL YOU LEAVE YOUR FAMILY AT HOME EVERY DAY TO PROTECT EVERYONE ELSE’S, DON’T TRASH TALK POLICE OR SOLDIERS TO ME.” LinkedIn post shared by judge. In the Matter of Elia, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 28, 2022) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “Like.” Judge in response to LinkedIn posts stating, among other things, that President Biden was in favor of “Killing babies;” and criticizing the Biden administration’s “wacky spending.” In the Matter of Elia, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct September 28, 2022) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “Need legal help? I’m a defense attorney in the State of Nevada.” Instagram and TikTok ads for pro tem judge’s law practice that used videos of him presiding over actual proceedings. In the Matter of Vander Heyden, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline December 12, 2022).

What they said outside the courthouse

  • “One more ticket needs to go away before trial.” Judge in telephone call to colonel of the game and fish commission enforcement division. Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Carroll, Opinion (Arkansas Supreme Court November 18, 2022) (18-month suspension without pay, with 6 months held in abeyance for one year contingent on compliance with remedial measures).
  • “Neighbor, friend, and co-worker,” “currently serves as my appointed Court Clerk,” and a “wonderful and trusted friend and neighbor.” Judge on character reference forms in support of applications for pistol licenses. In the Matter of Aronian, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 7, 2022).
  • “Your Honor, I’ll state that to the court that it’s no secret I’m a judge in another locality, and prior to that, I was a state trooper for 30 years.” Judge appearing at a small claims trial as if he were an attorney for his wife. In the Matter of Kennedy, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 24, 2022) (censure).
  • “Judgeklr@. . . .” and “City Court Judge.” Part-time judge using title on emails and pleadings when representing a client. In the Matter of Robichaud, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 24, 2022) (censure).
  • “Please please please get things worked out today for Dalton to serve some time as a consequence.” Judge in text message to the county attorney about criminal cases pending against her son. Gordon v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 655 S.W.3d 167 (Kentucky 2022) (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “I wanted to clean up one thing, like your photos or something, and I noticed a screenshot on Instagram or somewhere. So then I—I was like, this isn’t good. They’re going to—all that Instagram, and had to do some severe editing of all things on Instagram.” Judge telling her son she had deleted material from his social media accounts after he had been arrested. Gordon v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 655 S.W.3d 167 (Kentucky 2022) (removal for this and other misconduct).
  • “I had two beers,” and “Doing something stupid.” Judge at the scene of an accident falsely telling police officer how much he had had to drink and that he had been texting while driving. In the Matter of Mulvihill, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance October 27, 2022) (censure for this and other misconduct).
  • “Come on, let me touch you. Let me play with you.” Part-time judge to client’s representative in his private law office after pulling her into an embrace. In the Matter of Falcone, 278 A.3d 782 (New Jersey 2022), adopting findings and recommendation (censure and permanent disqualification of former judge).
  • “Pd. Pol. Adv. By the Committee to Re-Elect Mark Blumstein and Mark Blumstein, a Non-Partisan Candidate for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Group 34. Not endorsed or sponsored by DoD or its affiliates. Mark Blumstein is a Retired Officer of the U.S. Navy.” Disclaimer on judge’s campaign ad in writing “so small that it appeared, from a short distance away, to be a solid line as opposed to words or text,” contrary to Department of Defense regulations for use of a photo of a candidate in uniform in campaign ads. Inquiry Concerning Blumstein (Florida Supreme Court January 4, 2023, nunc pro tunc to December 14, 2022), accepting stipulation (reprimand).
  • “Unfortunately, I was unaware of the existence of the 2020 Judicial Campaign Ethics Handbook nor was I aware of the existence of the advisory opinions posted on your website.” Magistrate “mak[ing] excuses” for campaign ads and social media posts in which he wore a law enforcement uniform and for appearing in photographs with campaign signs for other candidates. In the Matter of Jeffries (West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission August 16, 2022) (admonishment).

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