Michael Hecht, a new Washington state judge in Pierce County Superior Court, has a docket that most judges would relish: virtually no substantive cases. The reason is that country prosecutors are refusing to try cases before Hecht, who has been charged with soliciting prostitutes and then threatening a 24-year-old male prostitute. Hecht ran in part on his work in building stable and moral families.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Brian Chushcoff has stated that he will not assign substantive civil or criminal cases to Hecht: “We’ll try to assign him something else to do. We’re gonna try to at least keep him busy – I think the taxpayers expect that.”
Hecht was sworn in as a new judge on January 12th. At the heart of the allegations are two men who reportedly said that Heckt paid them of sex, Joseph Robert Pfeiffer, who reportedly claims that Hecht paid him for sex eight to 10 times over the past two years and Joseph John Hesketh IV, 24, who says that Hecht paid him for sex multiple times in the late 1990s. It is Hesketh who was allegedly threatened, but Pfeiffer reportedly denied the allegation as a witness to the encounter. He said that Hecht sought out Hesketh about his allegedly spreading rumors.
In Hecht’s bio, he states “My real life experiences as a home builder therapist for Catholic Community Services, legal background, 36 year marriage, raising three children and now a grandfather provide the well-rounded and common sense approach that I will use to make good decisions.”
In his campaign statement, he stressed judicial integrity:
It is degrading to the court when lawyers complain about Judges who do not know the law, cannot understand basic legal concepts, appear disrespectful, biased and punitive. Every person knows that they are entitled to their day in court. However, this day in court is meaningless if the judge is not fair. Pierce County cannot afford four more years of this. Let’s get it right this time. August 19th elect Hecht Judge. Cases will be decided on the law not personal bias. Justice must be blind not deaf and dumb. Litigation has a financial and emotional toll on families and children. A Judge who takes cases when he knows there is a conflict of interest is not acceptable. Knowledge of the law is paramount to upholding the rule of law. Attention to getting it right, objectivity, respect for law enforcement, families, children and respect for cultural diversity must be restored to this court. It is time for change and I say to the voters you will not be embarrassed by my decisions or my judicial temperament. Go to http://www.hechtforhelp.com and you will know I should be elected as Superior Court Judge.
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