Miera Announces End To Fast
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A Hispanic, bisexual judge who promised to fast 100 days to protest discrimination announced through a priest he was ending his fast on its 58th day Thursday.
Ramsey County Judge Alberto Miera Jr.’s decision came two days after the Minnesota Supreme Court publicly censured and suspended him for one year withou pay for forcibly kissing his male court reporter and other alleged misconduct.
Earlier, a civil court jury found the judge had committed battery in his alleged advances on the reporter, Neil K. Johnson.
The 37-year-old Miera declared Thursday he had accomplished the goals he had announced in May when he said he was beginning a 100-day fast to protest discrimination of ″socially vulnerable″ people by society and the local judiciary.
″I am committed to working hard on these issues and steadfast in contributing my efforts to make our system fairer and more accessible to all citizens,″ said Miera’s statement. It was read by the Rev. Jerry Hackenmueller to reporters and about 50 people, mostly parishioners, in a church meeting room.
Miera was not present for the announcement at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, where he has attended Masses.
Miera’s father, Alberto Miera Sr., said his son would be unable to address the media for at least several days because he is getting medical attention.
″It is now a time of healing for our family,″ the elder Miera said.
In the statement, the suspended judge said, in part: ″Because of the accomplishment of a primary goal of my fast, that is the serious raising of public awareness to the differential treatment of socially vulnerable people within our system ... and the specific recognition and rebuke of the unprecedented and improper actions of some of my colleagues by the Supreme Court, I am ending my fast.″
The latter part of that portion of his statement referred to comments the Supreme Court made in its ruling Tuesday about other Ramsey County judges. The Supreme Court said they should have taken their concerns about Miera to the state Board on Judicial Standards, rather than using the ″unorthodox method″ of petitioning the state’s high court and making statements to the news media.
The Supreme Court also rejected a recommendation from the state Board on Judicial Standards that Miera be removed from office.
The fast’s end was applauded by the priest and parishioners, some of whom said they had fasted in hopes of persuading the judge to eat again.
″I’m joyful he’s finally gotten off that fast,″ said Mona Capiz. ″I was supporting his issues, but I don’t think they are accomplished (by a fast). That’s for him to finish up now that he’s off it.″
Capiz and Hackenmueller said the fast has strengthened Miera’s credibility in the Hispanic community and brought its members closer together.
″I think it certainly has created a new awareness that we have to be constantly on guard against injustices,″ the priest said.