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تاريخ التسجيل: Jun 2019
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افتراضي Federal Judge in Kansas City Is Reprimanded for Sexual Harassment

A federal judge in Kansas was given a rare public reprimand on Monday for sexually harassing female judiciary employees and having an affair with a felon that made him “susceptible to extortion.â€‌
The judge, Carlos Murguia, of the United States District Court in Kansas City, made sexually suggestive comments and sent inappropriate text messages to the employees, according to an order issued by a judicial council.
Judge Murguia continued to harass employees even after one of them told him to stop, according to the order, which was written by Timothy M. Tymkovich, the chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The order also said that Judge Murguia’s yearslong affair with a felon who was on probation put him in “such a compromised position that he made himself susceptible to extortion.â€‌ Judge Murguia was also reprimanded for being “habitually lateâ€‌ for court meetings, Judge Tymkovich wrote.


“As judges, we have an obligation to foster a nondiscriminatory and courteous workplace that is respectful of everyone inside and outside the Judiciary,â€‌ Judge Tymkovich wrote. “Judges have a duty to maintain the integrity and propriety of the Judiciary and to ensure that the public has a positive view of, and experience with, the Judiciary. Judge Murguia’s actions fell well short of these obligations.â€‌
Judge Murguia admitted to the misconduct, and the public reprimand resolved a complaint against him. He also agreed to take “certain corrective actions,â€‌ according to the order, though details about those actions were not available Monday. It is not clear when exactly the complaint was filed or when the misconduct occurred, but a committee began investigating in August 2018.
An official with the Tenth Circuit said Monday that the complaint against Judge Murguia and other details about the allegations and the subsequent investigation were confidential.
The judge will not face any further punishment from the council, which said that the reprimand was the “most severe sanction available.â€‌
Judge Murguia apologized Monday evening in an emailed statement.
“I accept responsibility for my inappropriate actions,â€‌ he said in the statement. “I publicly apologize to the victims and to the other members of my staff for the impact my conduct has had on them.â€‌


He said that the behavior occurred several years ago.
“My actions have not and will not interfere with the fair administration of justice,â€‌ he said. “I continue to strive to be a responsible person and employer.â€‌
The reprimand came almost two years after Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the federal court system must do more to protect law clerks and other employees from sexual harassment. Just weeks before that announcement, a judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit retired after at least 15 women had accused him of sexual harassment.
In March, the federal judiciary revised its code of conduct for judges and judicial employees to better explain what constitutes inappropriate workplace behavior, according to The Associated Press. The revisions underscored that judges have a responsibility to report misconduct and that retaliating against someone who does so is unacceptable, The A.P. reported.
Judge Murguia’s reprimand appeared to be a rare instance of those revisions in action, said Brooke D. Coleman, a law professor at the Seattle University School of Law. She said courts are not required to publicly report misconduct.
“I wouldn’t say it’s rare in the sense of it’s not happening,â€‌ she said. “It’s rare in the sense of we’re seeing it.â€‌
Judge Murguia is the first Hispanic person to be on the United States District Court in Kansas City, according to the court’s website. President Bill Clinton nominated him to the court in 1999.
He grew up in the Argentine community in Kansas City, and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1982. He then worked on immigration issues at a nonprofit organization in Kansas City from 1985 to 1990, and was a state district court judge there from 1990 to 1999, according to the Federal Judicial Center.


Julie A. Robinson, the chief judge of the district court in Kansas City, said in a statement on Monday responding to questions about Judge Murguia that “several judges of this district reported concerns and allegations.â€‌
Judge Tymkovich wrote in the order that Judge Murguia gave “preferential treatmentâ€‌ and “unwanted attentionâ€‌ to certain employees, sometimes through “excessive, nonwork-related contact, much of which occurred after work hours and often late at night.â€‌
Many employees were reluctant to tell Judge Murguia to stop his behavior because of the “power he held as a federal judge,â€‌ Judge Tymkovich wrote.
Judge Murguia was “less than candidâ€‌ during the investigation, Judge Tymkovich wrote, and his apologies “appeared more tied to his regret that his actions were brought to light than an awareness of, and regret for, the harm he caused to the individuals involved and to the integrity of his office.â€‌
Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.
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city, federal, harassment, judge, kansas, reprimanded, sexual


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