MACOMB The Court of Appeals has concluded that Macomb Justice Lafayette D. Young Jr. should be removed from office as determined by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
The commission had found Mr. Young in violation of six of seven misconduct charges. Mr. Young asked the Court of Appeals for a review.
He was accused of failing to disqualify himself in cases involving a woman who lived with him. Mr. Young argued that Robyne Petrie-Platt was not his girlfriend.
A charge that he engaged in improper political activity was dismissed by the commission.
The Court of Appeals found that Mr. Young engaged in serious misconduct and that in many cases, he showed favoritism toward the relatives of Ms. Petrie-Platt. The court also determined that Mr. Young took part in conversations outside the courtroom, further highlighting his close relationship to the Petrie family and his partiality toward them.
Such conduct demonstrates a misuse of his judicial office and damages public confidence in his integrity and impartiality, the court decision stated.
Mr. Young did not return a call for comment.
The Court of Appeals suspended Mr. Young last year with pay while it conducted its review. His salary was paid by the town.
While the case was being heard, Morristown Judge James T. Phillips Jr. presided over Macomb Town Court once a month. His salary was paid by the state.
The court decision allows the town to determine how it will handle the court in the future.
Theres a lot of directions we can go, Supervisor George A. Blatchley said. The board will discuss it at our meeting in July.
The town could ask Judge Phillips to stay on until after the November election or work with Morristown for it to handle Macombs court permanently.
Weve been very satisfied with Judge Phillips, Mr. Blatchley said. I dont really have a feeling for how the boards going to want to go.
Anyone circulating a party petition to appear on the November ballot would have until July 12 to turn them in to the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections, Democratic Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon said. Democrats would need nine signatures and Republicans 12 signatures. Independent petitions have a later filing date in August.
Candidates would run for a four-year term, she said.