Ouster recommended for town justice accused of making 'salacious jokes,' identifying himself as judge in gas-station dispute

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A town justice in New York should be removed from office partly for inappropriate comments to another judge and his court clerks, according to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Image from Shutterstock.

A justice of the Dickinson Town Court in Broome County, New York, should be removed from office partly for inappropriate comments to another judge and his court clerks, including references to sexual intercourse with a pig, a fellow judge’s undergarments and the humming sound of a vibrator, according to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The commission recommended removal of Randy A. Hall, a town justice who is not a lawyer, in an Oct. 17 determination made public Jan. 11.

The Legal Profession Blog excerpted the recommendation, while a Jan. 11 press release summarized the findings.

Hall did not respond to an ethics complaint, and the allegations were deemed to be admitted. He took office in January 2022, and his term expires at the end of December 2025.

Among Hall’s alleged remarks and actions:

  • He complimented a fellow judge’s leopard-print face mask and asked whether it matched her underwear.

  • He asked his female court clerk for assistance booking a flight and commented as she leaned over his desk that “women do not need men like men need women,” adding “you know it when you hear the humming.” The clerk believed Hall was referring to a vibrator, “which made her very uncomfortable,” the commission said.

  • He told a joke to his male clerk about a farmer, marijuana and sexual intercourse with a pig.

  • After his female court clerk informed him that she was a candidate for bariatric surgery, Hall said, “You’re a good lookin’ girl now. You’ll be a knockout.”

  • He made comments mocking a training program on sexual harassment awareness.

  • He described an intimate picture on his phone to a police officer.

  • He asked his female law clerk to zip up the garment that he planned to use as a judicial robe. When she crouched down to help, she told the judge to hold his tie, so it would not be caught. Hall replied that his tie wasn’t the only thing he didn’t want caught in his zipper, which the clerk “understood to be a reference to the judge’s genitalia and which made her very uncomfortable,” the commission said.

Besides making inappropriate comments in person, Hall joked on his public Facebook page about a serial killer, about a jury that was not hung but a judge who “sure is,” and about someone looking up his judicial robe, according to the press release.

He also identified himself as a judge to a 911 operator and a responding officer during a dispute with another customer at a gas station over access to a pump, the commission said. He also made comments to three criminal defendants conveying the impression that he had prejudged their cases, the commission said.

In one case, for example, he asked a female defendant offered a plea to resisting arrest, “How many cops did you take down?”

Hall’s female clerk became so uncomfortable with Hall’s conduct that she refused to clerk for him beginning in about February 2022. After the judge and two court clerks reported their concerns, the deputy chief administrative judge directed that all matters pending before Hall be reassigned to his fellow judge.

Commission administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in the press release Hall’s refusal to participate in commission proceedings “underscores his utter disregard for the ethical obligations of a judge.”

“There is no place on the bench for a judge who denigrates women, makes crude salacious jokes, mocks sexual harassment awareness training, and seems to have no idea why public confidence in the courts would be undermined when a judge says or does such things,” Tembeckjian said.

Hall did not immediately respond to the ABA Journal’s request for comment left on a voicemail for the Dickinson Town Court or to an email sent to the town court. Nor did he respond to a request for comment by the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, which also covered the case.

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