No valid excuse for judge’s disgraceful conduct
The May 14 Viewpoint about Mimi DesJardins’ resignation as a judge and misdemeanor plea raised more questions than it answered, but certainly did not offer any valid excuse for her disgraceful conduct.
DesJardins took an oath to uphold and follow the law. The Viewpoint stated that she technically violated the tampering statute. There was nothing technical when she knowingly entered the wrong time on not one but several forms. The result was a citizen was kept in jail.
The Viewpoint contends the prosecuting attorney and police likewise violated the law. This “I never do nothing, it was those other guys” defense nor whether charges are brought against others is not relevant. DesJardins is responsible for her actions.
DesJardins undoubtedly told defendants that bad choices lead to consequences. The same standard applies here – she made a bad decision and must suffer the consequences.
The lament is offered that the community lost her services. Do we want a judge who makes bad decisions?
The Viewpoint states there was a loss of perspective, little common sense and fear of negative publicity by the Judicial Discipline Committee and the chief justice in this matter. The Viewpoint does not reveal what role the committee or chief justice had in DesJardins resigning the day before charges were filed or her pleading to a crime.
The arguments that others are responsible, the violation was technical, a lesser punishment should have been imposed, are disingenuous. Judges are entrusted to protect society by following the rule of law.