A New York judge accused of making homophobic and racist remarks elected to step down Friday, agreeing to never seek a judicial office again.
Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court Judge Harriet Thompson was due to face a formal Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC) hearing Jan. 17 for reportedly making racist and homophobic remarks in the courtroom. Citing a shoulder injury that would prevent her from fighting against misconduct allegations, Thompson instead offered up her letter of resignation, the New York Post reported. (RELATED: Top New York Judge Steps Down Amid Investigation Into Possible Ethics Violations)
Thompson had been suspended with pay since December 2021 after an investigation by the Inspector General for state courts concluded that the claims against her were supported. Among the accusations leveled at Thompson was an incidence in which she accused four of her fellow judges of being “gay racist f—-ts” who were “all f—king each other” and “trying to ruin me and get me,” according to another report by the New York Post.
NY judge accused of making racist, anti-gay remarks agrees to step down https://t.co/JhvAq3d6XY pic.twitter.com/wiKoVIKWX0
— New York Post (@nypost) January 9, 2023
“I hate these gay white men … being gay is an abomination to mankind,” she allegedly said about the four judges in 2018, the outlet reported.
In another instance, Thompson was accused of being biased against Hispanic people. “I do not like Hispanic people. They have a deceitful trait that goes way back to biblical times,” she allegedly said per the New York Post.
In yet another instance, Thompson was accused of leveling a racial slur at a fellow black judge, calling him “a house n—-r … and a puppet for the white man,” the outlet reported.
“Had Judge Thompson not developed some disabling illness, she would have vigorously defended herself, but found that it was an impossible thing to do at this point,” Thompson’s lawyer Andrew Fisher told the Post. Fisher explained that the pain from her injury and the surgery would have to endure would interfere with her ability to defend herself against the allegations.
“It should be noted that there are no findings of wrongdoing that have been entered against her. She leaves, hopefully, with her reputation intact,” Fisher stated per the Post.
If the “egregious” accusations against Thompson were established in a trial, it would have warranted her removal from office, CJC Administrator Robert Tembeckjian told the outlet.
“She now claims a medical condition prevents her from performing judicial duties, which opens a different path in furtherance of the public interest for her immediate and permanent departure from the bench,” Tembeckjian stated.
Thompson’s retirement from the bench will begin March 1 and she will be allowed to keep her judicial pension, the outlet reported.