In an unusually harsh recommendation, a Massachusetts hearing officer has called for a Boston trial judge to be suspended without pay for six months. The officer said that Superior Court Judge Maria I. Lopez misled the public, lied under oath, and showed bias against state prosecutors, the Boston Globe reports.
Lopez’s unethical conduct during a sentencing hearing three years ago and her ”feeble” attempts to cover it up could have warranted her removal from the bench, Housing Court Chief Judge E. George Daher found in his 234-page ruling. But the lack of legitimate complaints against her, coupled with the abuse endured by her family, mitigated against a tougher punishment, he said.
Daher found that Lopez had lied under oath when testifying at her misconduct hearing. He appeared to leave open the possibility that Lopez could still be removed from the bench if she does not apologize.