The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline has ordered two judges removed from office for violating judicial ethics.
Common pleas Judge Angeles Roca has admitted she contacted another judge about her son’s tax case, and that judge in turn reached out to Municipal Court judge Dawn Segall, who proved helpful. What neither knew is that the judge they spoke to, Joseph Waters, was the subject of a federal investigation and their calls were being recorded by the FBI.
Both judges were suspended, and now the Court of Judicial Discipline has decided their conduct merits removal from the bench. They’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court. Roca’s attorney, Samuel Stretton, says the punishment was too harsh.
“She was wrong. She shouldn’t have done it, but it did not merit permanent removall,” Stretton said in a phone interview. “There are a number of cases where judges have contacted other judges. Most of them got two, three months suspension. Some got reprimands.”
Waters, the judge under investigation in the case, got a two-year prison term for fixing cases.