By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
In August, 2017, Family Judge Richard Miller was removed from his duties on the bench and reassigned by the New York Unified Court System. No details were released at the time to explain why. Now comes the revelation that he forced his court attorney and clerk to view pornography including nude photos of a co-worker. Among other “family friendly” duties, Judge Miller made sexual demands and even asked his clerk (Gallagher) to engage in sex acts with an elected official to curry political favors.
Yes, it’s all there in a federal court complaint filed on December 21, 2018 which reads, verbatim in some segments, like my precedent seeking action on behalf of abused family court litigants in Parent v New York, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY 2011). Indeed, so closely does the complaint pattern mine that one might easily conclude that it was used as a template by the law firm which filed the action last week.
Of course the difference is that the plaintiffs in my case were litigant parents whereas the current one features court employees. Judges have fashioned a special rule for themselves known as Absolute Judicial Immunity from lawsuits by litigants whereas they get no such protection from lawsuits by subordinates even if the misconduct is identical.
For example Michigan Judge Wade McCree was given immunity in a federal lawsuit brought by a father in a child support case whose opponent got pregnant by the married McCree in chambers while presiding over the case. Such immunity carries over from the King of England and finds no authority in our Constitution.
So committed was I to removing that immunity that I filed four federal lawsuits which earned a filing restriction by a federal judge, Gary “not so” Sharpe. Gary was removed by a federal appeals court from a case due to a human gene he used for decision making which he claimed would not be discovered by scientific experts for another fifty years. The appeals court found his bizarre conduct to harm public confidence in the judiciary.
Yet Judge Gary Sharpe was never impeached, he did not resign in shame as he should have, and he refused to step off my case afterward, see United States v Cossey, 632 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2011). The Cossey ruling is one of the few in which the decision itself was found to be sufficient grounds for bias and disqualification.
Another case which illustrates the unjust disparity between litigant and employee in judge accountability is Morin v Tormey, 626 F.3d 40 (2nd Cir 2010). This case featured my administrative judge and ex-custody judge, Bryan Hedges. They were successfully sued by a chief family court clerk based on unlawful retaliation for her refusal to engage in “political espionage.” She recovered $600,000.00.
Hedges was removed from my case in 2011 and from the bench altogether one year later after he admitted to sexual misconduct on his handicapped, five year old niece, see In re Bryan Hedges, 20 NY3d 677 (2013). His co-defendant, Judge James “Bond” Tormey is still on the bench even after assigning 41 trial jurists to my originally uncontested divorce case. Over a 12 year period, nearly half were removed by motion due to bias or misconduct.
Like the 2017 reassignment of Family Judge Richard Miller, no reasons were given, and like Tormey, Miller is still a judge hauling in close to $200,000.00 in annual salary. The “immoral” of this story is that a lawsuit by an employee is acceptable but one against a judge containing similar claims is “rambling” and even “incomprehensible.”
This is one of the many reasons why I have asked fellow victims to join me in a march on Washington, May 3, 2019, to start in front of the White House and ending on the Supreme Court steps. Get the details on the 6-minute video here produced by an NBC production crew. A more startling one is forthcoming, ironically on the subject of judge misconduct across America. Look for it on this site, Leon Koziol.com and spread the word.