Judge's Off-Color Conduct in Colorado Ends Ouster
(CN) - A Colorado judge who cracked jokes about the bodies of women in his courtroom has resigned after a public censure by the state's highest court.
Larimer County Judge Robert Rand joked about the weight of the court's collections officer and "the large breasts of a woman appearing before him in court," according to the Colorado Supreme Court's unsigned opinion.
Rand also made a joke about dancing regarding a juror who is a professional dancer.
"Judge Rand attempted to create a friendly atmosphere in his courtroom, but it was misinterpreted by some," the justices wrote.
Rand said he was also trying to be friendly when he invited a female public defendant to share with him and his staff in chambers photos of her vacation. The justices listed this as an example of "undignified conduct."
In addition, Rand commented from the bench that two lawyers before him were wearing "pearl necklaces."
One of the attorneys felt that comment had a sexual connotation.
Also, when Rand was interviewing a female clerk candidate, he told a story about a defendant speculating on what type of panties the clerk was wearing. Rand then asked the candidate how she would handle a similar situation.
At the end of business Rand often stayed on the bench to offer defendants off-the-record advice or pep talks, according to the ruling. The justices said that, through these actions, Rand "failed to promote confidence in the judiciary."
He also advised a defendant under the age of 21 to handle the peer pressure to drink alcohol by faking that she was drinking.
Rand, who has been suspended with pay since July, agreed to resign effective March 31, 2014. Channel 7 in Denver reported that Rand plans to move to California to be closer to his family.
He told the Fort Collins Coloradan: "I've got a much better job awaiting me: Granddad. After these past six months, dirty diapers are nothing."