Northport Village Justice Paul Senzer should be removed from the bench after sending profanity-laced, sexist emails with clients of his private law practice, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct said.
While representing clients in a Family Court matter between 2014 and 2015, Senzer sent nine emails referring to his clients’ daughter as a “bitch,” their daughter’s attorney as a “c*** on wheels,” their grandson’s school as “assholes,” and other foul language, according to the state judicial watchdog agency.
“It is simply unacceptable for a judge to demean women with vile and otherwise abhorrent language,” Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in a statement Thursday. “Doing so reveals prejudice and undermines public confidence in the administration of justice. It should be clear that a person who cavalierly uses gender-biased slurs does not belong on the bench.”
The panel rejected Senzer’s defense that he should not be sanctioned because the comments were made to clients of his private practice and not in his role as a village justice. But the agency maintained that his conduct as an officer of the court “reflect[s] adversely on the judiciary as a whole.”
Senzer has been a part time Northport village justice since 1994, earning $10,000 annually for the post. His current term expires in two years. The panel previously issued him a warning for making sarcastic comments to a the mother of a defendant facing a marijuana charge in his courtroom.
His attorney, David Besso, said the judge intends to appeal the finding, which he called unprecedented.
“The decision by the commission is a complete miscarriage of justice,” he told The New York Post, which first reported the story. “This is the first time in the history of the commission that a judge has been removed from the bench for private conversations with his client.”
Village of Northport officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.