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Judicial “Bully” Barred From Bench [Update]
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Judge Ann H. LokutaFrom the Associated Press:

A county judge described as a bully on the bench was stripped of her office Tuesday in the longest and most costly judicial ethics investigation in Pennsylvania history.

The Court of Judicial Discipline also banned Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge Ann H. Lokuta from holding any state judicial office in the future.

  
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Lokuta, who attended the hearing, said she would appeal to the state Supreme Court but declined further comment. Her lawyer, Louis Sinatra, said the result was not a surprise, given the scathing tenor of the court’s Oct. 30 opinion that outlined her misconduct.

After a four year investigation, the court concluded that Lokuta’s behavior had been “antithetical to standards of common decency.” Lokuta was found to have “terrorized” courthouse workers, sent employees on personal errands, lied under oath and failed to perform her judicial duties.

UPDATE

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A 2007 post from Above the Law lists some examples of Lokuta’s terroristic behavior:

A former intern… testified tonight the jurist called her a tramp for wearing a sleeveless shirt to work. Rebecca Sammon … described another incident where Lokuta yelled at her for being nice on the phone.



Prothonotory Jill Moran testified lawyers got yelled at for clicking pens or writing too loudly in Lokuta’s courtroom.

Cusick testified she overheard a profanity-laced argument between Lokuta and Lokuta’s tipstaff Maureen Gushanas. She said Gushanas used profanity, but Lokuta only “screamed.”



 

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