Pa. judge accused of belittling defendants barred

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2011 12:31 PM
Pa. judge accused of belittling defendants barred

A Pennsylvania district judge accused of belittling defendants and forcing one to call himself a "scumbag" in open court has been barred from sitting on the bench in the state ever again.

The Morning Call of Allentown (http://bit.ly/nx6vkb) reports the state's Judicial Conduct Board voted Monday to remove District Judge Maryester Merlo from the bench. The board in September found Merlo's courtroom conduct violated the state constitution and judicial rules.

Merlo was suspended in December after a complaint filed against her alleged she mistreated defendants and was frequently late or absent from work. On one occasion, the conduct board said Merlo promised to dismiss a traffic violation for a man if he married his pregnant girlfriend.

Merlo had said she was "passionate" on the bench but never acted improperly.

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Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com