The courts are closed today, but when they reopen tomorrow, Brooklyn Surrogate Judge Harriet Thompson will still be persona non grata in her own courthouse, barred from all nonpublic areas by order of the state chief administrative judge for her extraordinarily hateful words towards gay men, Hispanics, women, West Indians, the overweight and the sick. But perhaps Thompson’s exile, in place since last December, will end in a few weeks.
In a decision filed Thursday, Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Karen Rothenberg says that while Thompson can remain stripped of all past, current and future cases in surrogate court for her astoundingly prejudicial statements, the defrocked Thompson should, in 30 days, be returned all “keys, access cards and other means of entry to Unified Court System courts and facilities, as well as any UCS-provided computer or other equipment.”
What’s the point, Justice Rothenberg, to let Thompson back to her chambers and other court offices? Thompson has no docket and no business to conduct, so what is she to do with her keys, access cards and computer? Find more judges, court staff and litigants to insult?
Thompson, who is still collecting her $210,900 salary, sued the state Office of Court Administration in April to get her docket restored. Rothenberg held a hearing in late October and noted that OCA does have the power to assign judges.
Thus Thompson was assigned to nothing while the state Commission on Judicial Conduct undertakes its probe, which will most certainly end in Thompson‘s removal from the bench. Likewise, OCA assigned Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead to Brooklyn surrogate court to clean up Thompson’s mess, along with Brooklyn’s other surrogate — the good one — Rosemarie Montalbano.
However, Edmead retires on Dec. 31 and we hear that OCA will be assigning a new fill-in judge. We also hear that the conduct commission has issued subpoenas for witnesses to appear in January, as they close in on the horrid Thompson.
Thompson’s judging days are long over. Letting her roam about her chambers makes no sense.