In the Courts

Top New York Judge Steps Down Amid Investigation Into Possible Ethics Violations

New York’s top judge resigned Monday amid claims that she improperly attempted to influence a disciplinary hearing, reported The Wall Street Journal.

New York State Attorney for Court of Appeals Judge Janet DiFiore stated in a letter that she would step down at the end of August and that her resignation was not related to the investigation, according to the WSJ. DiFiore allegedly attempted to interfere in the disciplinary hearing of Dennis Quirk, the president of the New York State Court Officers Association.

The state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct is currently investigating DiFiore due to a complaint filed by Quirk last year, reported the WSJ.

Judge DiFiore wrote a letter in late August last year telling an official presiding over the hearing that Mr. Quirk was a troublemaker and without adequate punishment, he would continue to engage in misconduct, according to the WSJ. Quirk faced a possible reprimand for threatening to post paper copies of an article about Judge DiFiore’s alleged marital affair on court buildings across the state, reported Law360.

The formal complaint could have led to a hearing in front of a commission and caused DiFiore to be cautioned, publicly admonished or even censured. The commission also has the power to remove judges from office.

However, it has no jurisdiction over DiFiore now that she is leaving office, thus ending the investigation.

In her resignation letter, the judge said she was proud to promote racial equity and guide the court system through the pandemic during her time in office.

DiFiore oversaw one of the largest state court systems in the country and lead the state’s highest court since 2016. She was nominated to the Court of Appeals by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it had no comment on the matter. DiFiore could not be reached for comment.

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