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September 23, 2023


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New court documents reveal racist, homophobic comments that preceded NYC judge’s removal

New court documents reveal racist, homophobic comments that preceded NYC judge’s removal

360 Adams St. in Brooklyn, where the Brooklyn Surrogate Court is located.

Larry McShane

New York Daily News

Explosive new court papers accuse a Brooklyn Surrogate Court judge booted from the bench last year of spewing racist and anti-gay remarks, denouncing Hispanics as promiscuous liars and ranting that homosexuality “is an abomination.”

An affidavit from state Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks laid bare the plethora of hateful remarks Judge Harriet Thompson allegedly said “in the courthouse in the presence of United Court System personnel.”

The fiery words preceded her abrupt removal from her position in December.

“I hate these gay white men,” she’s quoted as saying in the document, while later declaring “gay racist f—–s … trying to ruin me and get me … Being gay is an abomination to mankind. The Holy Ghost (is) going to get them.”

Thompson’s vile speech also included a remark that she “assumed the litigant was a liar” in cases involving anyone with an Hispanic-sounding name, according to the 20-page Brooklyn Supreme Court filing obtained by the Daily News.

“They have a deceitful trait that goes way back to Biblical times,” she was quoted as saying. “The men are always stealing, and the women are no better. They lie, steal and use their vaginas for anything they want.”

Thompson, now seeking to vacate the order from Marks that removed her from the bench, responded to The News that she was the victim of a “political hit.”

“I’m entitled to my day in court, to my right of confrontation, and to my right of cross-examination,” she said Saturday. “I categorically deny the allegations … You know what? It’s about integrity and character. That’s all I have. People lie, and people believe the lies.”

But the affidavit filed by the the state’s chief administrative judge alleges other targets of Thompson’s wide-ranging bile include natives of the West Indies, overweight co-workers, fellow female judges, white women and Black women.

She accused her female colleagues of trading sexual favors for their seats on the bench, labeling one woman as “part of that group of hos” and describing another Black judge as a “house n—-r” and “puppet for the white man,” according to the court papers.

In a particularly callous comment, Thompson said a fellow judge “got what she deserved” when diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the court papers allege. The judge also declared a state court worker was likely a prostitute, and suggested “her boyfriend is pimping her.”

Thompson filed an April 14 petition arguing for her return, with court papers explaining in great detail the state’s opposition to her coming back.

“Although Petitioner claims that the administrative reassignment of her cases and the appointment of an acting Surrogate violate the law and constitute an abuse of discretion, an examination of those claims show them to be entirely without merit,” attorneys for the state wrote in court papers.

Though Thompson was removed from the Brooklyn courts almost nine months ago, the specifics of the allegations against her were never made public until the recent court filings.

Thompson, whose anticipated 14-year term began Jan. 1, 2019, was yanked from the bench at the Surrogate’s Court in downtown Brooklyn and barred from entrance to non-public areas of the building late last year.

She argued in court papers for a return to her job, arguing Marks had overstepped his authority by replacing her.

Though Thompson was blocked from hearing cases, she was not removed from office or suspended and remains on the judicial payroll. The announcement of her removal from the courtroom included none of the sordid details behind her sudden exit.

The judge was previously embroiled in a battle with colleague Richard Buckheit, who was responsible for handling the estates of Brooklynites who died without wills. Thompson accused him of hiring “young white males” for temporary office jobs, while the gay city employee accused her of homophobia.

The state Unified Court System’s Inspector General presented Marks with a confidential report substantiating the offensive conduct last Dec. 3, setting the process in motion.

“I determined it would not be appropriate for [Thompson] to continue to preside over judicial matters or interact with court personnel for the duration of the Commission’s investigation,” said Marks in the court filing.

“The failure of the court system to take corrective action in response to [Thompson’s] conduct could potentially open the court system to a claim that it facilitated a hostile work environment.”

With Molly Crane-Newman

©2022 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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