The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed a verdict of the Court of Judicial Discipline permanently removing Allentown Magisterial District Judge, Maryesther S. Merlo from the bench. The Morning Call reported on the decision. The Supreme Court determined that Judge Merlo brought her judicial office into disrepute, and she is banned from ever again holding judicial office.
While no criminal charges were filed against Judge Merlo, the Judicial Conduct Board brought two complaints against her. In addition to tardiness, the complaints alleged that Merlo engaged in unprofessional and occasionally bizarre behavior. The complaints were consolidated and went to trial in May of 2011. That trial resulted in the Court of Judicial Discipline voting to remove Judge Merlo from office.
For more information, see The Legal Intelligencer (subscription required) or PMC’s previous coverage, PA Supreme Court Upholds Suspension Authority and Court rules Judge Merlo violated PA Constitution and rules of judicial conduct.