NY Supreme Court Justice Disciplined For Abusing Position After Hitting Cop Car

A judicial conduct commission investigated and determined that Acting Justice Shari Michels had abused her influence.

New York, NY – The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct determined that an acting state Supreme Court justice should be admonished for trying to use her influence after crashing into a police van by telling officers to “just let it slide.”

Justice Shari Michels, who was elected to the New York City Civil Court, was driving to a courthouse in the Bronx in August of 2015 when she ran into the back of a police van near Yankee Stadium, according to The Post-Standard.

The judicial commission’s investigation found that Michels had been sitting behind the police van at a red light when the incident occurred.

The light turned green and the judge moved forward and hit the police vehicle.

There were no injuries and there was no damage to the vehicles, according to the investigation conducted by the judicial commission.

However, after she crashed into the back of the police van, Michels hopped out and introduced herself as a judge right away to the officers.

Then the judge repeatedly challenged officers who said they needed to file a police report because a department vehicle was involved, The Post-Standard reported.

Michels told one police officer “he did not have to make a report and should ‘just let it slide,’ or words to that effect, because there were no injuries or damage to the vehicles," according to the investigation.

The judicial commission’s investigation found that Michels had approached at least three different police officers with her request to not have a report filed after she introduced herself as a judge.

The incident lasted for about 45 minutes and a police report was eventually filed, The Post-Standard reported.

Later, Michels told the judicial commission she introduced herself as a judge so the officers would not think she would flee from the scene.

But the judicial commission ruled that Michels had tried to use her influence as a judge to avoid having an accident report filed, The Post-Standard reported.

“Public confidence in the fair and proper administration of justice requires that judges, who are sworn to uphold the law, neither request nor receive special treatment when the laws are applied to them personally," the commission said in their decision, according to The Post-Standard.

The judicial commission’s recommendation will be sent to the state’s highest court for review.

Michels is currently presiding over a case in the Bronx Supreme Court and Office of Court Administration said the decision regarding her status would be made after that trial had concluded, the New York Law Journal reported.

The Office of Court Administration said it was likely that Michels would have her status as an acting Supreme Court justice revoked for two years, according to the New York Law Journal.

This will be the second time Michels has been disciplined by the judicial conduct commission.

She was admonished after her first election for falsely telling voters she had been endorsed the by New York Times, according to the New York Law Journal.

Comments
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Heatherlynn
Heatherlynn

Maybe things have changed in the decades since I retired, but back then if you didn't have any damage or injury, you didn't have an accident and didn't need to write an accident report.

pixiepup
pixiepup

How many times r they going to discipline her??Fire her, she should not have the privilege of being a judge. She is not going to stop abusing her position. The first time lying should of got thru to her and it didn’t!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I agree that the judge deserves some sort of admonishment and acted stupidly. That said, this article (and other media coverage) is misusing the word "crash" here. This was not a crash.

Ezio
Ezio

As a former OTR truck driver, any incident no matter how insignificant had to be reported. This means pictures, accident report, and the usual drug test. The reason is simple if I didn't report it and then later on the other person claims I hit their vehicle, I would be cited for leaving the scene, a preventable accident would go on my DAC report and I would be terminated. I cannot speak for the police, but I assume they follow a similar policy. The judge asking them to "let it slide" was wrong on every level.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

What!? A judge that lies!? OMG I don’t believe it! And she tried to use her influence as a judge too!? What is this world coming to!? Not a judge!? The same level judge that lets these criminals go after committing crimes!? Noooooooo!!!!!!! Remember peeps, judges, are lawyers. The same lawyers who are friend with all these other lawyers, some probably former colleagues, friends, and the same ones in cahoots to take your money over vaguely defined legal lingo so when you call them up to clarify, they charge you about $100 a minute and same for an email. But that was a good one, identifying herself as a judge so the officers wouldn’t think she’s trying to flee the scene!? Shit why didn’t I think of that!? You see how these judges and lawyers think? Playing on the holes in the system, making excuses as they do for the obviously guilty criminals, and of course, nothing will happen as far as discipline. Suspended for 2 years? How about removed from the courts. Any other officer would be accused of abusing his power, and then fired. We as officers are held to a higher standard, I understand that, but the ones above us, I would think are held to an even higher standard making the decisions that will also affect people’s lives.