Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Judging the judges

Judges are not my favorite people. I've had the pleasure of appearing before 2 or 3 good ones, but that's not a very exciting number over the course of an 18 year long legal career. To my mind, most judges distinguish themselves by believing that, once they become judges, not only are they no longer obligated to apply the law to others (they just do what they think is "right"), they often think they're no longer obliged to apply the law to themselves. One of the worst embezzlers I've come across in my career was a former judge. Because of his "special expertise" in Probate, when he retired he made a second career as a special administrator for estates tied up in litigation. Also because of this same "special expertise," he deftly absconded with millions from these many estates. I was therefore entirely unsurprised to read at Wizbang about a Massachusetts judge would couldn't keep his pants zipped. That's disgraceful enough, but what's really disgusting is how the state Judicial Conduct Commission handled the matter:

1) The judge had been on paid leave since January. Because they're such nice guys, they let him keep his $112,777 salary he'd already collected for this year. 2) They did give him a year's suspension, but to show they really are unhappy, they made it unpaid this time. 3) They fined him $50,000 as well. Let's do the math: Judge Tongue gets about 22 months vacation, about 4.5 of it essentially paid, then gets to return to his cushy job. The state, in return, saves about $163,000 in pay for the judge, but that still leaves it about $87,000 in the hole because of this guy's ego. And in about a year or so, he'll be back on the bench with it all behind him.
Wizbang's tag is "Yup. Gotta be in Massachusetts." Mine would be, "Yup. Gotta be judges."