District Court Judge Shelley Joseph is in deep trouble. She allegedly allowed an illegal alien to use the judge’s door to evade ICE agents on hand to arrest him. federal prosecutor Andrew Lelling has convened a grand jury to investigate the role District Court Judge Shelley Joseph may have played in helping an undocumented immigrant, Jose Medina-Perez, get away from ICE agents.
During court, she ordered that the audio recorder be shut off after she said “ICE is going to get him.” Judges are not permitted to shut off the audio recording when court is in session. Judges are also not permitted to help illegal aliens escape arrest.
The Globe reported the judge told attorneys “ICE is going to get him,” an apparent reference to an agent in the building, and offered to continue the case. She then told a clerk to switch off the audio recorder in the courtroom.
“I don’t believe she should be hearing criminal cases until that federal case is resolved,” Baker said, adding that there is precedent for court officials taking such action.
A court spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about Baker’s remarks.
Baker said he did not regret nominating Joseph.
“Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice,” the governor said. “And as far as I can tell, based on the facts as they were presented, she clearly violated the court’s own policies with respect to the way they’re supposed to handle continuance and involve federal immigration enforcement.”
via Boston Globe:
The actions of the judge and court personnel that afternoon are the focus of a probe into whether they broke the law in helping Medina-Perez evade federal authorities, according to five people with direct knowledge. Several court employees have recently testified before the grand jury, one of the sources said.
The federal investigation into a sitting state court judge is extraordinary and underscores the highly politicized push and pull between state authorities and federal officials who have been instructed to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
Former US attorney Michael J. Sullivan said it would be “shocking” — and possibly obstructing justice — if any court official helped a defendant flee from federal authorities.
“There is a big difference between doing nothing and taking affirmative steps to prevent some authority from exercising its rights,” he said.
Joseph, who was appointed to the judiciary by Governor Charlie Baker last year, declined to comment. The first-year judge spent years as both a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, before ascending to the bench.