Jurists behaving badly dept.:
According to the commission report, [Niagara Falls, N.Y. city court judge Robert] Restaino was presiding over a domestic-violence case when a ringing mobile phone interrupted proceedings. When no one took responsibility for the ringing phone, Restaino ordered that court security officers search for the device.
About 70 defendants were in the courtroom that day to take part in a monitoring program for domestic violence offenders. … After all the defendants denied having the phone or knowing who it belonged to, Restaino sent 46 people to jail. Fourteen who were unable to make bail were handcuffed and jailed for several hours.
The New York state Commission on Judicial Conduct removed Restaino from office Tuesday, calling his action “a gross deviation from the proper role of a judge.” (Janine Brady, “Panel gives judge a ringing rebuke”, CNN, Nov. 28; Elefant, Nov. 28).