Judge faces censure over 'profane, demeaning' Facebook posts
Jennifer Nunnery became a justice of the Darien Town Court in Genesee County, New York, in January 2020, and she made a series of questionable comments on Facebook between December 2020 and April 2021. Image from Shutterstock.
A New York judge is facing a censure by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for using “profane, demeaning and otherwise-inappropriate language” and engaging in “offensive and otherwise-inappropriate behavior” in comments and posts on social media.
According to the commission’s Aug. 9 determination, Jennifer Nunnery became a justice of the Darien Town Court in Genesee County, New York, in January 2020, and she made a series of questionable comments on Facebook between December 2020 and April 2021.
In a post from December 2020, Nunnery said, “F- - - no … . The first incoming call from a client on my first day of vacation just came in at 8:56am. Seriously people I have enough work s- - - to catch up on during my time off, I’m not answering the phones!!!”
In a post from March 2021, Nunnery said: “You know what’s more therapeutic than shopping? Cross examining someone and being absolutely F- - -ING AWESOME at ripping them apart on the stand like the baddest b- - - - there is!!!!!”
And in comments on a reshared Facebook post, which was originally posted seven years earlier, Nunnery said, “Omg everyone was so f- - -ing hungover lol,” and “I remember drawing a d- - - on his face when he passed out on the plane lol.”
“The Rules [Governing Judicial Conduct] require judges to maintain high standards of conduct and to ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,’” according to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. “The rules also prohibit judges from engaging in extrajudicial activities which ‘detract from the dignity of judicial office.’”
Nunnery “violated these rules when she made inappropriate and undignified public posts and comments on Facebook, some of which referenced her role as an attorney in the legal system,” the commission added.
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct also recommended that Nunnery be censured for publicly liking the announcements of candidates for the Buffalo City Court in New York and a local school board on Facebook, which “appeared to convey that she was endorsing such candidates” in violation of the rules.
In a statement published by the New York Law Journal, Nunnery said: “I failed to appreciate that being a Judge is a 24/7 position that calls for proper decorum at all times and in all settings. There are no exceptions.”
The commission’s 8-0 decision to censure Nunnery noted her contriteness and cooperation, saying she “now appreciates that the integrity of the judiciary is undermined when a judge publicly posts puerile and explicit content such as she did to Facebook and other social media.”