New York Commission determines judge should be fired for sexist remarks and behavior
A New York family court judge who engaged in a “pattern of inappropriate behavior” toward female court employees should be fired, according to the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Broome County Judge Richard Miller II allegedly berated a court assistant for working too slowly and screamed at her in the courtroom. When the judge discovered that the court assistant had complained about his “discourteous and demeaning behavior,” he filed a complaint against her.
Miller also made “extremely inappropriate and sexist remarks” to the deputy chief clerk, the commission said.
In one incident, the deputy chief clerk said she was hot and needed to use a fan. The judge, who was in her office, told her that “it’s nice to know I still have that effect on you.” He later commented on her appearance in a third incident, telling her “you look really hot in that outfit,” and that she “should always wear that outfit.”
Miller contended that both women should have told him that his behavior made them uncomfortable, the commission said.
“Compounding his misconduct, respondent appears to be under the misapprehension that the women he denigrated and to whom he made the sexist comments had an obligation to tell him that they did not approve of his comments,” according to the commission. “To the contrary, it was incumbent upon respondent to not make sexist comments to a court employee. Similarly, it was also his responsibility to avoid behaving discourteously toward court employees.”
The Commission noted that a 2002 determination censuring Miller found that he had violated the rules in 13 different cases and therefore another censure would be insufficient.
“Under these circumstances, if respondent were to be censured again and allowed to remain on the bench, we believe public confidence in the courts and the judicial disciplinary process would be undermined,” the commission said.
While the majority of the 10-person commission ruled that Miller should be removed from the bench, two members said that even though he had committed misconduct, he should only be censured.
You can read more about the determination here.