Indiana judge apologizes for 'extremely tasteless' remarks about woman at retirement ceremony

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FORT WAYNE, Indiana — A northeastern Indiana judge apologized Thursday for saying at a public retirement reception for court staff members that one of the female retirees could have a second career as a phone-sex operator.

Allen Superior Court Judge Stanley Levine used a microphone to make the comment Friday at an event attended by family, friends, co-workers and some children, the Journal Gazette (http://bit.ly/1s4Y9WL ) reported.

"First of all, I wanted to state that I have made a sincere and heartfelt apology to the woman about whom I made inappropriate remarks by talking to her personally, and she has accepted my apology," Allen Superior Court Judge Stanley Levine told the newspaper.

He added: "What I quite mistakenly meant to be humorous was, in truth, extremely tasteless. ... I deeply regret having said it."

In an email Wednesday to courthouse staff, the Allen County Board of Judges said they found Levine's comments to be inappropriate and that some people found his comments offensive. The email reminded all courthouse staff that anyone who feels he or she has been harassed has the option to report the conduct.

Kathryn Dolan, the state Supreme Court spokeswoman, said in an email that she couldn't say whether a specific situation violates the Code of Judicial Conduct that requires judges to uphold the integrity of the judiciary.

"Only the five members of the Supreme Court have the authority to determine what (if any) judicial misconduct has occurred in a specific situation," she wrote.

Levine, appointed to the bench in 1998, is up for re-election this year.


Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

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