Posting Nazi Pics Gets Judge In Hot Water In New York State
Judges in New York are elected like many other public officials, and when they run for office, they generally have a lot of eyes looking at them as they begin to discharge their duties. This sometimes takes people by surprise, which seems to have happened to one judge from Central New York who is in a lot of trouble for some stuff he shared on his Facebook page.
According to an article posted by WSYR-TV Channel 9 in Syracuse, a town judge in Cayuga County is in a lot of trouble with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
He's in so much trouble that the Judicial Conduct Commission is recommending he lose his job.
New York Judge Posts Nazi Images, In Danger of Being Removed From Office
In a complaint filed with the Judicial Conduct Commission in May 2023, Montezuma Town Court Justice William H. Futrell was accused of judicial misconduct and breaking several judicial rules. The judge was accused of, among other things, posting Nazi images on his Facebook page, along with dozens of pictures of naked and semi-naked women, some doing various acts.
Futrell was elected Montezuma Town Justice in 2019 and took the bench in 2020. He was to serve as town judge until December 31, 2023, but according to the 33-page complaint, he sent an email to the Montezuma Town Supervisor resigning his position. A judge cannot resign officially in this way, as they have to contact the New York State Office of Court Administration.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct recently released the determination of its hearings and recommended that Justice Futrell be officially removed from office.
Respondent’s usefulness as a judge is irretrievably damaged and he is unfit for judicial office. By reason of the foregoing, the Commission determines that the appropriate disposition is removal.
- New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct
While judges have the same rights as everyone else because they have been elected to high office, they hold themselves to a higher standard, and a judge posting such things can create the appearance that they cannot be trusted to be impartial.
Any conduct, on or off the Bench, inconsistent with proper judicial demeanor subjects the judiciary as a whole to disrespect and impairs the usefulness of the individual Judge to carry out his or her constitutionally mandated function.
-Matter of Kuehnel, 49 NY2d 465, 469 (1980)
Futrell did not appear to the commission or any of its hearings, and he did not respond to any of their inquiries.
In addition to Futrell being removed, the Buffalo News reports that other judges in the state have been disciplined or removed from the bench as well.
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