New York Judge Reprimanded For Using Employees For Personal Tasks And Holding Prayer Sessions During Court Hours

judge_1621New York State Supreme Court judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes has been reprimanded in a case that many might view as a case of light discipline. Brigantti-Hughes has been found to have used staff as personal servants and using court resources for personal purposes. She has also been cited for pressuring staff members to participate in prayer sessions. For those acts, she has been given a reprimand.

Brigantti-Hughes was found guilty of having “misused court resources and engaged in conduct that was implicitly coercive and inconsistent with the ethical rules.” The state Commission on Judicial Conduct found that Brigantti-Hughes, 54, had her secretary drive her on shopping trips and to get her hair done as well as trip with her legal secretary to get gardening supplies at Home Depot. Staff members were also used a baby sitters on five occasions. I can understand occasional rides or even having someone watch a child. However, the commission found a pattern of such abuse.

I am most troubled about a finding that she pressured employees to join in on prayer sessions she held in her chambers during business hours. While she insisted that staff were not forced to participate, she admitted that it may have been hard for employees to refuse.

The intermingling of the faith of the judge with subordinates during business hours shows remarkably bad judgment and magnifies the failure of this judge to separate her personal life from their official duties.

What do you think should be the proper punishment from reprimand to suspension to removal?

21 thoughts on “New York Judge Reprimanded For Using Employees For Personal Tasks And Holding Prayer Sessions During Court Hours”

  1. Removal, such blatant abuse of authority has no place being behind the bench.

  2. Paging joelbwriter, paging joelbwriter, please report to this thread! Just yesterday joelbwriter was talking about religious judges on the Indiana judge thread. I told him that didn’t seem to be the case, but to be patient, one would come along. And BAM, Mr. Turley posts one on just that topic 24 hours later. I hope he sees this.

  3. I am not going to make a conclusion on the prayer aspect but using people for labour to her own use should have warranted a suspension for the first time but a repeated pattern would be more aggravating. It is both a theft from the court (county) due to her converting the labour paid by the county, and a violation of the workers’ compensation laws in that they are not performing labour within their job description and hence their workers’ compensation insurance rates. (if this is a workers’ compensation state)

  4. Removal. She obviously has no understanding of the law or the Constitution.

  5. Waste, fraud and abuse is a crime and Judge Brigantti-Hughes needs to be held accountable for her malfeasance.

    How many similar cases has she decided upon where the guilty parties have been sentenced to a stint in jail?

  6. She needs to be fired. Making someone do personal tasks and forcing religion on others is wrong.

  7. I pray that she gets a better haircut. But, here is a song that the inmates (employees) in her courthouse can sing. It is from that nice movie with the nuns who were building a chapel.

    A aaamen, AAAAmen, Aaaamen A men aamen.
    Agamemnon! A aaamen, AAAA men, Aaamen Amen Amen.

    Call the Bailifff! Aaamen.
    Bring in the vacuum cleaner! Aaamen.
    On Christmas morning. Aaamen Amen Amen.

    Call up the hairdresser! Aaamen
    Ring up the airport! Aaamen.
    I am headin off to Texas. Amen Amen Amen

    She’s done gone and left town. Aaaamen!

  8. Removal from the bench – Anyone who pressures employees to join in on prayer sessions has no understanding of or respect for the Constitution.

  9. She needs to be removed. As one poster noted, that if this had been done in the private sector, she would have been prosecuted and/or fired.

  10. And yes I do agree she should be made to reimburse the costs of the babysitting, and chauffeuring.

  11. Reprimand. I bet she will drive herself, pray by herself (!) and hire a babysitter, henceforth.

  12. There are so many responsible folks ready willing and able to take that position, why keep someone with proven poor judgment?

  13. She should repay the taxpayers, triple fold, placed on 2 years of probation, and check in with a probation officer weekly. Her crime is no different from shoplifting.

  14. Not appropriate at all. However, it seems like this kind of behavior would be easy to fix. She should be able to change.

    First offense, reprimand.
    Second offense, suspension.
    Third offense, removal.

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