LaDuca is apparently unaware of two other complaints against this Utican lowlife collecting a check for being an asshole and making a disgrace of the CPL every day and running his mouth when his fat parasite pension-fiend lazy bailiffs are at his beck and button-call.
Few of these people would survive in the service in a war zone. They have ways of "disappearing" problem-children like this.
The future of Utica City Court Judge Gerald Popeo is in question as the state Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates whether he should be punished for an alleged series of berating and bullying remarks.
Nearly three years after Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara and Oneida County Chief Public Defender Frank Nebush filed a joint complaint against Popeo in 2011, McNamara confirmed that he is among the witnesses who have been asked to attend a scheduled hearing this week regarding the judge’s actions.
What this might mean for Popeo’s judgeship – from possible censure or admonishment to removal – remains unclear because the state judicial commission does not discuss pending investigations.
Popeo came under fire in early 2011 after he was criticized for telling a public defender to “shut up” before then lashing out at a defendant, Jeffrey Blount, who had smirked in the courtroom.
“You’re standing there with a grin that I would love to get off the bench and slap off your face,” Popeo told Blount, before then holding Blount in contempt.“What are you laughing about?… How about 30 days in jail for contempt. That’s hilarious, too, isn’t it?”
Popeo later dropped Blount’s contempt charge, admitting he had reacted with “intemperate words” and did not completely follow legal procedure.
But the district attorney and public defender had enough, McNamara said. Remarks by a judicial ethics expert who was quoted in the Observer-Dispatch at the time prompted McNamara to file a formal complaint against Popeo.
“If the conduct is repeated – as opposed to a judge having one bad day – attorneys do have a responsibility to take some action to protect their clients and try to get a change in the judge’s behavior, regardless how difficult it may be,” Cynthia Gray, director of the Center for Judicial Ethics of the American Judicature Society, told the O-D on Jan. 11, 2011.
Popeo – who was elected City Court judge in 2000 then re-elected in 2010 – could not be reached for comment.
McNamara believed Popeo’s belittling remarks in open court were creating the risk that some cases would not be treated fairly.
“We felt that we didn’t have a choice as much as an ethical responsibility to do something, so at that point we had to take the information that we were aware of, including transcripts of different matters, and forward them to the Commission on Judicial Conduct,” McNamara said.“We did this with great reluctance, because there can be serious ramifications for us in the courtroom.”
Nebush, head of the county Public Defender’s Office, was unavailable for comment.