New York judge demoted after angry spat with fellow justice

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An acting judge who had presided over felony criminal trials in Manhattan has been demoted to “chambers work” following an angry spat with a colleague.

Justice Anthony Ferrara will stay at the desk job until his retirement, report Law.com (sub. req.) and the New York Daily News. His official retirement date is at the end of the year, but he will leave in early November because of accumulated time off.

“Although Judge Ferrara was productive in the handling of his cases, his conduct demonstrated that he lacked the discipline, judgment and temperament that is required of a trial judge,” Office of Court Administration spokesman Lucian Chalfen said in a statement.

The Oct. 11 incident began when Ferrara burst into a side door of Justice Felicia Mennin’s courtroom, according to the Daily News and an anonymous courthouse official who spoke with Law.com.

Ferrara was conducting a felony trial and was looking for an on-call court-assigned lawyer to represent a witness, the official told Law.com. The on-call lawyer was in Mennin’s courtroom in connection with an arraignment.

Mennin took Ferrara to a side room, but the door was left open. The chat escalated, until Ferrara reportedly yelled, “F— you.” Mennin reportedly replied, “You know what, Tony? F— you too.”

Chalfen said the incident was “witnessed by multiple audience members and court personnel.” A Daily News photographer was in the courtroom at the time.

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