Judge challenges panel decision calling for his removal
Aug. 30, 2017
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island judge accused of sexual harassment and judicial misconduct is rejecting a recommendation that he be removed from the bench.
A state Supreme Court commission found on Aug. 9 that District Court Judge Rafael Ovalles committed 41 conduct violations and should be removed from the bench. The recommendation came after a hearing where witnesses testified Ovalles degraded women, mistreated court staff, lawyers and the public, and slept on the job.
WJAR-TV reports that lawyers for Ovalles filed a petition Tuesday objecting to eight sections of the panel's 240-page report.
His lawyers must file a supporting brief within 30 days. The panel will then have 40 days to respond.
Ovalles has denied the allegations against him.
The judge has been relieved from his duties with pay since December 2015.