Good riddance to bad rubbish. The Ferguson, Mo. judge who forced thousands of dollars from residents while owing over $170K in back taxes is resigning his position. Now what will it take to get him to resign from the others?
The Missouri Supreme Court announced Monday that it will take the "extraordinary action" of reassigning all Ferguson municipal court cases to the circuit court, starting next week.
In a press release, the court announced the move was intended "to help restore public trust and confidence in the Ferguson municipal court division."
Ferguson municipal judge Ronald J. Brockmeyer also resigned his position this afternoon, a spokesman at his law office said. He will continue his other municipal court positions as prosecutor in Dellwood, Vinita Park and Florissant, and judge in Breckenridge Hills.
In a press release, Brockmeyer said he "recognizes that deference to a municipal judge's judgments and court rulings depends upon public confidence." He said the Department of Justice report — which delivered a scathing critique of Ferguson's court practices last week — and media reports , "regardless of their accuracy or validity have diminished the public's confidence in the Ferguson municipal court."
He said his resignation was intended to help restore public confidence and to "help Ferguson begin its healing process."
Brockmeyer was criticized in the DOJ report for acting as a revenue-generator for the court and the city, helping to bring in millions through "creative" use of fines and fees, while dismissing tickets for himself and friends. The report also rapped him for instilling fear in traffic defendants, even jailing one man for 10 days because the man refused to answer questions in court. [...]
According to the supreme court press release, Judge Roy L. Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, will take over the Ferguson court's case load. The transfer of cases will continue "until further order" of the supreme court.
The order, allowed under the state constitution, also authorizes Richter to implement reforms to Ferguson's court policies and procedures. The press release says it was done "to ensure that the rights of defendants are respected and to help restore the integrity of the system. Read on...