Can you stop people from doing stupid things? No. Can you stop people from doing venal things? No. But you can have a system in place which that says, if you do something wrong, we will be as aggressive as the law allows in prosecuting you?
By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
“You’re standing there with a grin that I would love to come off the bench and slap off your face”
“Mr. Scully (prosecutor) is playing cigar store Indian at the moment.”
“You know what black people from New York City call black people from upstate New York? Country Niggers.”
According to an ethics judge, these comments were made by Judge Gerald Popeo of the City Court of Utica, New York. In 2015, he was merely censured for those remarks instead of removed from that bench by the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct. Now Fifth District Chief Judge James “Bond” Tormey has elevated him to “Acting Family Judge.” This comes after Judge #39 and Judge #40 were disqualified from my 12 year originally uncontested divorce case.
Welcome to Trial Judge #41, a judicial record by most accounts. You have to believe that Judge Jerry “Rocky” Popeo filling the latest slot was a monumental joke. After all, with the violent threats and racist remarks he was prosecuted for, the last thing you would expect a rational court system to do is appoint him as a family judge. Isn’t that the court where domestic violence is being condemned? Isn’t that where African-American fathers are discriminated most, even shot dead five times in the back while fleeing unarmed from a child support warrant (Walter Scott)? What is Judge Jerry doing here?
Imagine if this wanna-be Rocky treated an African-American father this way? (let’s just call him Apollo Creed). He compares Apollo to a “country nigger” and threatens to come off his bench to “wipe that smirk off (his) face?” When Larry Nassar, ex-physical education director of Michigan State University was facing his sentencing for sex crimes, a father of three victims lunged for him across the trial table. He was restrained by court security but never charged with contempt by the female judge because she understood his rage.
But what happens if it’s the judge provoking violence? What if the litigant in the Popeo case accepted Judge Rocky’s challenge to come off that bench and wack him? Who would court security restrain or taser? We may soon find out as I face this pompous judge next week. Talk about domestic violence, provocation and father discrimination! What was the Commission thinking when it released this judge on his own recognizance to put law enforcement in harm’s way? They have families too. And what kind of coward hides behind them in a black dress when making such threats? (it’s a robe only when the person in it acts accordingly.
I have asked the same Commission in a formal complaint to reconsider its decision in light of the misconduct which occurred by Judge Popeo in my own court cases as a civil rights attorney over the years. There is also an effort being started by a veteran U.S. Marine to make a stand against this sort of discrimination and misconduct due to the vast number of daily suicides occurring to his brothers as a result.
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