A top judge in New York resigned on Monday amid an investigation that she improperly attempted to influence a disciplinary hearing.
The Wall Street Journal reported that New York State Court of Appeals Judge Janet DiFiore said in a letter that she would be stepping down at the end of August, claiming that her resignation was unrelated to the investigation. DiFiore allegedly attempted to interfere in the hearing of Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association.
It was reported that she sent a letter to hearing officer Phyllis Orlikoff Flug, asking her to punish Quirk. She claimed that Quirk “exhibits no remorse” in her letter to Flug, which was obtained by Law360.
“These patent realities require that you use every means at your disposal to address this incident and deter future misconduct by the respondent,” she continued. “I implore you to use your authority wisely to uphold the values of our entire court system.”
Quirk was facing reprimand for threatening to distribute paper copies of an article about DiFiore’s alleged marital affair, allegedly intending to post them in court buildings across the state.
“Lets [sic] see [how] you like the online articles about your relationship with a police officer with ties to organized crime while you were married posted all over every Court Building in NYS,” he said, according to the court documents.
Quirk filed a complaint against the judge, which could have led to a hearing, which in turn may have caused DiFiore to be cautioned, admonished publicly, or even censured. However, since DiFiore is leaving office, the investigation has no power over her, thus ending it.
DiFiore oversaw one of the largest court systems in the country and led the highest court in the state since 2016 when she was nominated to the court of appeals by disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo was ousted after claims of sexual assault while he was in office.
DiFiore said in her resignation letter that she was proud to have promoted racial equity and guided the courts through the pandemic during her time in office.
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