Las Vegas judge sacked for MySpace page
Foot stuck in mouth - and elsewhere
A North Las Vegas judge has been sacked after telling MySpace readers that his interests include physically beating prosecutors - or words to that effect.
In a post to his public MySpace page, The Associated Press reports, substitute judge Jonathan MacArthur laid out his attitude towards prosecutors using a certain graphic phrase that he claimed was common "among blacks, people who associate with blacks or in a sports context.”
The AP wouldn't actually quote the phrase and the MySpace page has since been made private, but The Reg can confirm that MacArthur told internet users everywhere that his interests include "breaking my foot off in a prosecutor's ass" and "improving my ability to break my foot off in a prosecutor's ass."
MacArthur is also a criminal defense attorney, but in describing his role as a pro tem judge with the North Las Vegas Justice Court, he said that he was a lot like a substitute teacher in a black choir robe with a disconcerting amount of authority.
The page was spotted by Clark County District Attorney David Roger, who promptly faxed a copy to court administrator Terri March, telling her that he would file a motion to recuse MacArthur from his role as substitute judge if the court didn't cut him first. March then showed the page to Justice of the Peace Natalie Tyrrell, whom MacArthur had substituted for, and MacArthur was soon removed from the court's list of pro tem judges.
"A judge has a duty to be unbiased, but also to avoid the appearance of being biased," March told The Reg. "We're not suggesting that when he did sit in for the judge, he displayed any kind of bias, but his web page represents his state of mind."
MacArthur told The AP that his comments about prosecutors were tied to his role as a defense attorney - and that he was just joshin'. “It's obvious to the casual reader [the comments] are an overstatement just for the effect,” he said. "People who know me and interact with me socially know I'm constantly trying to say things in a funny, provocative manner." He also said that he still plans on running for a post with the new judicial department that opens in North Las Vegas in 2009.
The 34-year-old better hope the locals have short memories. After our conversation with the court, we're confident that his story will be all over the local news come 6 o'clock this evening. ®
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