Mistreatment of Staff, Criminal Acts Contributed to 2020 Peak in Judicial Discipline, NY Report Says

Mistreatment of Staff, Criminal Acts Contributed to 2020 Peak in Judicial Discipline, NY Report Says

judges chambersMore New York judges were publicly disciplined in 2020 than in any other year in more than a decade even though fewer new complaints were being filed, according to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s annual report.

The explanations included in the report for why judges were disciplined generally fell into three categories: failure to disclose ex parte communication or other conflicts of interest or otherwise not meeting standards associated with their legal work; inappropriate and offensive actions toward court staff, attorneys or parties involved in a case; and involvement in criminal activity.

Of the 24 judges publicly disciplined in 2020, eight were found to have made some sort of offensive comments on the job, some to the point that court employees quit their jobs. Six other proceedings related to a judge being charged of a crime; three judges were arrested for driving under the influence, one was accused of mishandling court funds and two others pleaded guilty to either tax evasion or attempted burglary.

“The Judicial Conduct Commission has had remarkable success in ethics enforcement over the years, due as much to its constitutional independence as to the vigorous commitment of its members and staff,” said Robert H. Tembeckjian, the commission’s administrator. “Despite diminished resources, a public health crisis and a large caseload, it has again led the nation in judicial disciplinary results and is a worthy model to be emulated throughout government.”

Published at Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:30:00 +0000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *