Judge Who Dismissed Woman's Protective Order, Reassigned
By 9 News Staff
9 News has learned there's new information regarding a Prince George's County judge, who had been the subject of controversy for his handling of a domestic violence case. The case nvolved a Maryland woman who had been set on fire, allegedly by her estranged husband.
Now, that judge, Richard Palumbo, will not be allowed to hear domestic violence cases or any other court cases. 9 News has learned Palumbo has been reassigned to administrative duties in his chambers until further notice.
What that means is Palumbo will not hear any cases until the chief judge of the District Court reviews his case. Palumbo has been under fire for dismissing a protective order against Roger Hargrave. Hargrave is accused of setting his wife, Yvette Cade on fire. She's still in the hospital.
Domestic Violence Worker Concerned About Judge's Courtroom Manners
By Emily Schmidt
"We are profoundly concerned," says Carole Alexander.
The Executive Director of House of Ruth Maryland says many of Judge Palumbo's court recordings troubled her, in the first, a strangled woman could only whisper.
Judge Palumbo: "Madam, I can't read lips."
Woman: "I'm sorry, he broke my voicebox."
Judge Palumbo: "Didn't I have the same problem with you last week? Did you see me last week?"
Judge Palumbo: "You couldn't talk then. You're getting worse instead of better? Do I make you nervous?"
In a second hearing Palumbo addresses a man who is unable to talk, and the neighbor speaking for him.
Judge Palumbo:"What is your name and address, sir? What is your name?"
Man: "ah, ah."
Neighbor: "He has a speech impairment."
Judge Palumbo: "All right, that's why she [petitioner's neighbor] is here, isn't it? You're not just sitting here to look pretty. You're here to tell me..."
Neighbor: "I know, I thought he was trying to pronounce his name. His name is ...'
Judge Palumbo: "Yeah, ok, try it. It might be good exercise for you. Let me hear you say your name."
In a third tape, Judge Palumbo says he will make sure a man doesn't hurt a woman who wants a protective order. In the tape he talks to the man in question.
Judge Palumbo: "Find yourself a woman that wants you. You're a handsome guy. You're a handsome guy. Stand on a corner long enough, they're like buses. They'll pass every five minutes. You'll find one who's gonna like you."
The House of Ruth says because of these statements, and Yvette Cade's case, they will file a formal complaint against the judge. However, an outside attorney hears the tape differently.
"There's too much Judge Judy, too much Texas Justice. He has to curt the language, but I don't see a substantive problem. Frankly, on the surface, he looks like a good judge," says
Jack Burkman, DC Attorney.
Burkman says a few excerpts should not taint the judge's record, even as the judge is removed from the bench for now.