BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County Family Court Judge Richard Miller was back in court yesterday, appealing a decision that would remove him from the bench.
Three years ago, Miller was reassigned from hearing cases as an investigation was launched into sexual harassment allegations brought by people who worked with him.
Charges against him were later filed in July of 2018 and in February of this year, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct ruled 7 to 2 that he should be removed from office.
They found that Miller had repeatedly made sexist and otherwise demeaning statements to a female court clerk, screaming at and belittling another female court clerk and then retaliating against her after she filed a complaint.
The commission also found that Miller had failed to accurately report outside income he made from rental property and a private law practice until after the investigation of him was underway.
Yesterday, his attorney, Paul DerOhannesian, argued before New York’s highest court, the Court of
Appeals, that a court-appointed referee had ruled that other employees, whom the commission did not consider in its decision, had been deceitful and lying in their accusations against Miller and that those allegations had poisoned perception of the judge.
DerOhannesian also argued that Miller was doing the honorable thing in amending his tax returns when he discovered that he had under-reported his income.
The commission’s counsel, Robert Tembeckjian, countered that Miller had failed to take responsibility for his misdeeds and that his excuses were implausible.
Tembeckjian also cited a previous censure of Miller in 2002 when he was a municipal judge and was found to have heard cases involving people who had been represented by his law firm.
Miller was first elected to a 10 year term in 2014 and has continued to collect his 200 thousand dollar salary while the investigation has been underway.