Judiciary

Judge resigns after admitting improper IMs with wife during court, but denies steamy content


A New Mexico judge has resigned following allegations that he sent instant messages to his wife, a court employee, during trials and other proceedings.

The judge, Eugenio Mathis of Las Vegas, N.M., admitted that he had engaged in “excessive and improper” instant messaging with his wife, but denied that any communications included intimations of courthouse sex, the Albuquerque Journal reports. The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Associated Press also have stories on Mathis’ resignation.

In his resignation agreement, Mathis admitted that he violated the court computer and Internet use policy; that he made disparaging comments about other judges to his wife; that he referred to parties in a domestic violence case as “chigando,” or acting crazy; and that he made “judicial statements” about pending cases, according to the Albuquerque Journal report.

The New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission had claimed Mathis engaged in “communications of a sexual nature” with his wife during working hours, “including intimations that he had or would be having sexual relations with her during the workday and/or on court premises.”

Mathis denied that charge and also denied allegations that he undermined his wife’s supervisors, and allowed his wife to pay bills and shop online during work.

Chat logs filed with the state supreme court in support of the petition don’t identify the speakers, but the messages are presumably between Mathis and his wife, according to the Albuquerque Journal and AP. One message reads: “Don’t come knocking if the jury room is rockin’.”

Updated at 8:10 a.m. to state that Mathis’ wife was a court employee.

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