Legal Ethics

Pennsylvania judge is accused of retaliating against witnesses for prior ethics complaint

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A Pennsylvania judge accused in December of displaying angry and vindictive behavior toward court clerks is accused in a new misconduct complaint of retaliating against those who complained about him.

The Judicial Conduct Board filed the new complaint against Magisterial District Judge Andrew Hladio of Beaver County on Tuesday, report the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Associated Press and a press release.

The previous complaint, which is still pending, had contended Hladio displayed angry and vindictive behavior with court clerks and with a prosecutor who successfully appealed one of his decisions. The previous complaint also alleged Hladio pursued a romantic interest with a court clerk even though she had rebuffed his advances.

The new complaint seeks an interim suspension for Hladio, who previously served another interim suspension from Feb. 17 through June 20.

The new complaint alleges Hladio retaliated against witnesses and complainants in the first ethics case by making “false, intemperate, irrelevant statements” about them. He is also accused of yelling at a constable and displaying an angry demeanor toward a female prosecutor. Hladio questioned the prosecutor’s ability to represent the state, commented on her youth, questioned her truthfulness, repeatedly asked if she was a lawyer and spoke to her in an argumentative tone, according to the Judicial Conduct Board complaint.

The complaint alleges Hladio complained about the work performance of complainants and witnesses in a March letter to the state inspector general. He also filed a charge of disability discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that claimed the witnesses had made false ethics allegations about him.

Hladio told the Post-Gazette in December that he denied the initial allegations. The newspaper was unable to reach him for comment on the new complaint.

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