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MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hartford Judge Requests Transfer After Incident

GLASTONBURY, Conn. -- A Hartford judge was arrested on DUI charges after she struck a state trooper's vehicle Thursday night.

Curtissa Cofield, a judge in the Hartford Community Court System, was driving on Route 2 just before 11 p.m. when her BMW struck the trooper's vehicle that was part of the construction pattern on the road, police said.

Both vehicles suffered minor damage, police said.

Police said Cofield requested a transfer to the civil court Friday because of the pending case.
The chief court administrator approved the request, effective next week.

Action, if any, will come from the Judicial Review Council, authorities said. The council is made up of legislators, judges and lawyers.

Authorities said the council can take action on cases if a complaint is made or it can decide on its own to act.

As of Friday afternoon, the Judicial Review Council hadn't made any decisions or taken any action.

Super Moderator
5,852 Posts
I think that perhaps they should release the Judges private medical history. There could be something relevant in there.
Yes, perhaps lack of a brain, or mental retardedness, seems most (not all) judges suffer from those two (or both) maladies.

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Probe Sought Against Judge Who Allegedly Used Racial Epithet

By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY | The Hartford Courant November 25, 2008

The co-chairman of the state legislature's judiciary committee wants a full review of allegations that a judge charged with drunken driving last month angrily hurled epithets at police officers during her arrest, called a black state police sergeant ****** and told officers she was a state judge.

Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield, 59, who is black, also referred to state police Sgt. Dwight Washington as "***** Washington" during her Oct. 9 arrest - which was captured by police video recorders - Courant columnist Kevin Rennie, a lawyer and former state legislator, wrote in his column in Sunday's Courant.

"Assuming it's true that she made those extremely racist comments, that can't be tolerated - from a judge, of all people," state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said Monday.

Nothing was said of Cofield's alleged conduct during her appearance Monday in Superior Court in Manchester, where Judge William Bright Jr. delayed a decision on her application to a pretrial alcohol-education program until Dec. 8. Those who are admitted to and successfully complete the program, open only to first-time offenders, will have their record of arrest wiped clean.

Judge E. Curtissa R. Cofield

Bright said he wanted to give the prosecutor a chance to talk to Trooper Michael Kowal, whose patrol car Cofield reportedly struck as she drove her BMW east on Route 2 about 10:50 p.m. on Oct. 9. Bright said he received an objection to Cofield's application from Kowal.

State police initially reported that Kowal was not injured, but he is seeing a doctor as a result of the crash, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman. Vance wouldn't comment on the allegations that Cofield made racist comments. Cofield, her attorney, James Sulick, and the prosecutor handling the case, John Whalen of the chief state's attorney's office, also declined to comment.

Bright said he has received letters of support for Cofield - about 40, according to Cofield's lawyer - and then heard glowing statements from a prominent defense attorney and a clergyman in favor of approving Cofield's application.

"Despite all the letters, I don't believe she should be treated differently in this situation because she is a judge, whether it's positive or negative," Bright said.

Lawlor said Bright should see the video of Cofield's arrest. "At minimum, I would certainly expect that under the circumstances the judge would review the videotape before deciding whether Judge Cofield should be admitted to the program," Lawlor said.

It's appropriate, Lawlor said, for the judge to consider an applicant's demeanor during arrest and the injuries anyone suffered. "In this particular case, the comments are troubling," he said. "Beneath the surface there's more to the story than just someone who had too much to drink."

Lawlor said he is exploring whether his committee, which oversees the judicial branch and has the power to impeach a judge, will be able to view the videotape.

"Our first preference would be to have the judicial branch do the oversight," Lawlor said. "We have been in communication with them to see what, if anything, will happen. We have received assurances there will be some type of action taken at some point. Obviously, it's still a pending case in court. We want to know the whole story."

The state Judicial Review Council should also open an investigation, if it hasn't already, Lawlor said.

The executive director and the chairman of the council said Monday that they cannot say whether an investigation of Cofield has begun. Such investigations remain secret unless the commission finds sufficient reason to air them publicly.

According to a state police incident report, Cofield drove her 2003 BMW X5 into Kowal's state cruiser, which was parked in the right shoulder protecting a construction zone. Cofield was taken to the Glastonbury police station for processing and was charged with driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane. Her comments were captured on a video and audio monitoring system at the Glastonbury police station.

The Courant filed a Freedom of Information request with Glastonbury police for a copy of the video of Cofield's booking. Glastonbury Police Chief Thomas J. Sweeney denied the request, and the newspaper is appealing to the state FOI Commission.,0,1528135.story

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Judge Granted Entrance To Alcohol Program

Injured Trooper Had Opposed Ruling

POSTED: 11:15 am EST December 8, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Hartford judge has been granted admittance into the Alcohol Education Program after being arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Hartford Superior Court Judge Curtissa Cofield was arrested in October after police said she struck a state trooper's cruiser with her car. The trooper was parked in a construction zone on Route 2 in Glastonbury.
Cofield's original request to be admitted to the program was delayed when the injured trooper, Michael Kowal, opposed her admittance.
Kowal's attorney, Jeffrey Ment, said the trooper suffered neck and back injuries in the crash.
If Cofield completes the program, it will allow for her name to be cleared from the record.

Previous Stories:

November 24, 2008: Trooper Objects To Clearing Judge's Name

October 27, 2008: Judge Faces Court On DUI Charges

So say she totters into MA and gets nailed again, we can't charge her with a 2nd offence?
Unless it's a straight not-guilty or dismissal of charges, it will count. A CWOF counts as a prior OUI in Massachusetts....not sure how the defense lawyer's union (a.k.a. the MA Legislature) let that one slide.

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Judge Uses Vulgar Language As She Is Charged

By EDMUND H. MAHONY and JON LENDER | The Hartford Courant January 27, 2009


Repeatedly using vulgar and racial insults, Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield argued with a police officer - addressing him as "***** trooper" at one point - who was trying to process her on a charge of drunken driving in Glastonbury last October, a police video released Monday shows.

Cofield also is heard twice on the video using the racial term "n-----."

The state's Judicial Review Council released the video Monday after it found cause to pursue five judicial misconduct charges against her, several of them based on what was termed disparaging, demeaning or "racially inappropriate" language.

The council has scheduled a hearing Feb. 9 to determine whether Cofield violated the judicial code of conduct and, if so, what action to take against her.

The video shows an uncooperative Cofield continually interrupting state police Sgt. Dwight Washington, who was asking a series of questions while processing her on the DUI charge at the Glastonbury police headquarters.

At 2:17 a.m. on Oct. 10, nearly two hours into the booking at headquarters, Cofield is seated at a desk and calls her husband on her cellphone. Washington, who like Cofield is black, is standing about 3 feet away.

Her end of the conversation, in part, is: "I don't need a ride home. ... I'm a criminal. ... What? What? ... Well, they got the head n----- in charge and he … Which one, the head n----- in charge? … Washington. OK. That's H-N-I-G...."

Then she hands the phone to Washington, who talks to her husband about getting the car off the highway. Washington asks, "Do you guys have Triple-A?"

Hearing that, Cofield interjects: "Oh, no. We don't. We're ghetto *******. We don't have Triple-A."

Earlier, when asked if she was injured, Cofield replied: "Yeah, I am. I'm humiliated by your f-----g attitude."

Asked if she was ill, Cofield replied, "I'm sick of being treated like a freaking ***** from the 'hood," and added: "Write it down, write it. Did you hear what I just said?"

Asked what her illness was, Cofield said: "*****-itis."

"Do you need to take any medication now?" Washington asked.

"Yeah, I need to take anti-*****, ummm ..."

When he asked what she weighed, Cofield replied: "Why don't you look at me, tell what you think?"

Asked how much alcohol she had had that day, Cofield replied: "I had no alcohol to drink, Mr. Washington."

Cofield often talked over Washington as he tried to question her, saying again and again that she needed to go to the bathroom. Washington politely insisted that she answer the questions first, and said that she could get to the bathroom sooner if she did so.

"That's your interpretation, but we'll see what they say in court, won't we, Mr. Washington?" she said.

Washington asked if she was willing to take an intoxication test. She replied: "Mr. ***** Washington. I need to go to the bathroom, and then I will take the test."

"It's Sgt. Washington," he replied, adding, "Don't disrespect me, and I won't disrespect you."

At another moment, after she had given a urine sample, Cofield asked Washington: "Do you have a reading on my urine test, ***** trooper?"

When asked to sign a form that she understood her rights, Cofield said, "I'm not signing anything, because when it comes down to the bottom line, who's smarter - me or you? We'll figure it out, won't we?"

Asked if she took any drugs, Cofield responded: "Oh, yeah, I'm a crack addict. Do I look like that to you?"

Then she directed her attention to the first state trooper on the scene of her accident and asked him, "Can you tell me why you came first, and then you had to bring him [Washington]? Is it because you had to make this valid by bringing a *****?"

Cofield was originally appointed in 1991 as the state's first black female judge after Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. nominated her and legislators confirmed her. She was last renominated by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and approved by lawmakers in 2007. Her current term expires on June 6, 2015.

Cofield apologized Dec. 8 at Superior Court in Manchester for sideswiping a state police car with her BMW, and was accepted into an alcohol education program. If she successfully completes the program, the charges - driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane - will be dismissed.

About 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 9, Cofield, 60, was driving through a highway construction zone on Route 2 in Glastonbury when her car sideswiped a parked state police cruiser occupied by Trooper Michael Kowal. Prosecutor John Whalen said that the judge's eyes were bloodshot and that she smelled of alcohol. Urine samples showed her blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent at 1 a.m. on Oct. 10 and 0.17 percent at 2:04 a.m., he said - twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

State legislators had been hoping to view the video, and now will be able to do so and consider whatever decision the Judicial Review Council makes. Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairman of the legislative judicial committee, has said that lawmakers could theoretically seek Cofield's removal.

He said Monday he believes that the council "will consider whether to recommend that she be removed as a judge. ... I think in many ways the ball is in Judge Cofield's court to convince them that she deserves to remain on the bench. I think if any legislator, any judge, any prosecutor, any police officer, did the exact same thing ... they probably would end up losing their job.",0,2287060.story

3,540 Posts
She may not be a bad judge. Kind of ashame! From the article it sounds like she was using Obama as some kind of new derogatory remark! Just she wasn't such a nasty drunk b!tch!

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Judge Unanimously Charged, Suspended

Racially Charged Comments Captured On Video After Arrest

Video: Judge Faces Disciplinary Hearing In DUI Case

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Superior Court judge charged with drunken driving and using racial slurs while arguing with police officers has been suspended for 240 days by a judicial review panel.

Judge E. Curtissa Cofield was accused of making racially charged comments at the officer who arrested her.

After hearing evidence in the case, the panel planned to deliberate on whether Cofield violated judicial ethics. The panel determined, by unanimous vote, that Cofield's "disparaging and demeaning" comments failed to live up to the standards of integrity and impartiality expected of judges.

Cofield's comments to the officer following her arrest were captured on video. She claims that her derogatory and racially charged statements were the effect of her intoxication. She urged the board to give her 30 years of public service and good reviews more weight than the video.
The board unanimously convicted Cofield of all five judicial misconduct charges against her.

Ross Garber, the council's chairman, said the suspension will take effect after Cofield's appeals process has ended.

The council could have imposed up to a one-year suspension and recommended her permanent removal by the Connecticut Supreme Court. Instead, Cofield will be off the job for eight months without pay.

In an appearance before the board Monday, Cofield apologized to the police officers involved, her family, her fellow judges and the entire state.

"On that night I violated the law and acted in a reprehensible fashion. I feel compelled to publicly apologize at this time to a number of people for my actions," Cofield said.

Cofield, who was confirmed as Connecticut's first black female judge in 1991, had apologized to the state Judicial Review Council earlier in the day, calling the night of her arrest "one of the worst experiences of my life."

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