Hyde Park Judge Barred from Hearing Cases Due to Bias Allegations

Hyde Park Town Justice Michael Plass, elected to the bench in November 2023, finds himself entangled in controversy as the New York Court System’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics issued a damning opinion against him. The committee’s decision stems from allegations of improper and biased campaign promises, rendering Judge Plass unfit to preside over certain cases with neutrality and impartiality.

The committee, comprised of current and former judges, determined that Judge Plass’s campaign pledges violated ethical standards by pledging to prioritize law enforcement goals over impartial application of the law. Specifically, Plass promised to incarcerate offenders, target drug dealers, impose maximum sentences on repeat offenders, and protect victims of domestic violence. Such promises, according to the committee, indicate a bias towards aiding law enforcement rather than upholding judicial neutrality.

As a result of the committee’s opinion, Judge Plass is disqualified from presiding over a wide range of cases, including criminal cases, domestic violence matters, vehicle and traffic law issues, and cases involving alleged drug dealers. Notably, he is even prohibited from signing orders of protection for domestic violence victims.

In light of these developments, incumbent Town Justice Jean McArthur has assumed additional responsibilities to cover the cases barred from Judge Plass’s docket. Despite the increased workload, McArthur is not receiving additional compensation, while Judge Plass continues to draw his $44,000 annual salary despite his reduced caseload.

Furthermore, the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has launched its investigation into the matter following complaints from members of the public. As the disciplinary body overseeing judicial misconduct allegations, the commission will scrutinize Judge Plass’s conduct and determine any necessary disciplinary action.

Read More News:

Judge Plass did not respond to requests for comment on the situation, leaving the future of his judicial career uncertain pending the outcome of the commission’s investigation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *