Federal judge announces resignation amid scrutiny over reprimand for sexual harassment
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A federal judge in Kansas City, Kansas, announced his resignation Tuesday, less than two weeks after members of Congress asked for more information on the judiciary’s response to a misconduct finding against him.
Murguia was reprimanded in October for sexually harassing court employees, having an extramarital relationship with a convicted felon on probation, and being late for court.
“In recent months, it has become clear that I can no longer effectively serve the court in this capacity,” Murguia wrote. “I therefore tender my resignation with a heavy heart and profound apologies, out of respect for the federal judiciary, my colleagues, my community and—most importantly—my family.”
In a Feb. 6 letter, members of the House Judiciary Committee posed several questions to judiciary leaders. They included whether protections had been provided to employees harassed by Murguia, whether there are policies in place to prevent future misconduct, and whether there are policies to review personnel decisions that may have been influenced by misconduct.
The letter asked for answers by Thursday.
Murguia is leaving without eligibility for a pension or retirement benefits, according to a statement by the chief judge of the federal court in Kansas that was cited by the Kansas City Star. He was appointed to the bench in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Federal judges must be 65 and have served 15 years to qualify for retirement compensation; Murguia was born in 1957.
The Kansas City Star reported that the resignation puts an end to an ongoing review of complaints against Murguia by the U.S. Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability.