Removal of Appeals Court Justice Johnson from Office Due to Sexual Harassment

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: June 4, 2020

The Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) submitted a decision and order to remove L.A.-based California Court of Appeal Justice Jeffrey W. Johnson from office for sexual misconduct and dishonesty.

According to court documents,

“Justice Johnson was charged with 10 counts, which with subparts contain 62 allegations of misconduct. The charges involve sexual misconduct toward 17 women he encountered at the courts where he worked and at professional functions including the unwanted touching of several women; disparaging women with whom he works; poor demeanor toward those with whom he works; and multiple instances of undignified conduct while under the influence of alcohol, which demeaned the judicial office.”

One of the women sexually harassed by Justice Johnson was Justice Victoria Chaney, his colleague at the 2nd District. According to Justice Chaney, Justice Johnson harassed her from 2009 to 2018.

Justices appointed by the California Supreme Court conducted an evidentiary hearing for more than two weeks. After hearing more than 100 witnesses and reviewing hundreds of exhibits, the Justices concluded that Justice Johnson “engaged in 15 instances of prejudicial misconduct (comprised of 42 proven allegations), as well as 5 instances of improper action (comprised of 5 proven allegations).”

In addition to the proven allegations, the Commission found that Justice Johnson was also dishonest during his testimony.

The Commission said that Justice Johnson’s misconduct has severely tarnished the esteem of the judiciary in the eyes of the public. Given his persistent denials of serious misconduct, we do not have confidence that he can reform, as he has not conveyed that he recognizes the extent of his wrongdoing. Further, given his lack of candor during this proceeding, we do not have confidence that he has the fundamental qualities of honesty and integrity required of a judge.”

Justice Johnson will be the highest-ranking judge in California to be removed from office for misconduct.

For more details: https://cjp.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2020/06/Johnson_DO_Removal_6-2-20.pdf

Sexual harassment, whether verbal, visual, or physical, is against the law and should be taken seriously. Workplace sexual harassment, unfortunately, continues to be experienced by both men and women and can often create a hostile and offensive work environment.

If your employer touches you inappropriately, makes unwelcome comments or advances based on sex or gender, shows you inappropriate images, contact our sexual harassment lawyers at Mesriani Law Group and we will evaluate your claims. With decades of experience, we aggressively fight against sexual harassment and discrimination.