The New York Supreme Court recently upheld the removal of Judge Robert Restaino. Restaino was removed from the bench following an episode last March during which he snapped and had 46 people thrown in jail because a cell phone rang in court.
During a domestic violence trial in his courtroom, Restaino heard someone’s phone ring and became infuriated when no one would admit that it was their phone. Since he could not find the one person who should have been punished, Restaino went berserk and had everyone in the courtroom taken to jail. He ordered their release after he cooled down later that day.
Restaino had no prior record of improper behavior in the courtroom and told the commission and Court of Appeals that he was under a lot of personal stress at the time of the incident and that he knew he was wrong and that it would never happen again. He was right – it won’t happen again because the state Commission on Judicial Conduct voted 9-1 for his removal in November and the New York Supreme Court has unanimously upheld that decision according to a report by the Associated Press.