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“Naughty” or “Gaudy?”

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Hey, The Juice is all for giving someone the benefit of the doubt, if it’s a close call, and there’s no history. You make the call on this one. Per the Palm Beach Post:

The Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges against [Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Howard] Berman in December 2000. Three women – two probation officers and a former public defender – accused him of groping, inquiring about their underwear and asking for sex. He threatened to “bury” one if she told. Three additional women stepped forward with similar stories.

Laura Johnson, now a county court judge, reported that when she and Berman were prosecutors, he invited her to his home to help with some cases. Johnson told investigators Berman disappeared into his bedroom, then returned carrying cocktails – and wearing only a maid’s apron.

Wow. So what did Judge Berman do? He stepped down three days before the judicial commission hearing.

Fast forward a few years. In 2005, Berman was hired as an assistant state attorney, where he was apparently doing okay, until recently. According to recently released personnel records,

Berman … was suspended without pay for 10 days after asking a secretary, “Wanna be naughty?”

Mr. Berman’s defense?

In his written response to the allegations, he said he was merely admiring the woman’s engagement ring and said, “It’s not too gaudy.”

So was it “gaudy” or “naughty?” Not a tough call. So on top of the 10-day suspension,

Berman was ordered to avoid contact with the woman, who was not identified. He was further warned that if any similar complaints were lodged, he would be fired, according to the disciplinary report signed by Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul Zacks.

Here’s hoping the maid’s apron doesn’t make another surprise appearance.

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