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How deflating

Every now and then we’ll get a story about a judge or lawyer behaving badly, based on something really kind of off the wall.

Here’s one from Southern Maryland: A circuit judge has been brought up on ethical charges for…deflating the car tire of a part-time cleaning woman at the courthouse.

What sounds like a juvenile prank actually happened last August, according to The Washington Post. Charles County Circuit Judge Robert C. Nalley, 66, apparently didn’t like the fact that a car was parked in a restricted zone. He used a pen or other sharp object to deflate the car tire of Jean Washington, a part-time member of the cleaning crew at the courthouse in La Plata.

Washington’s reason for parking there: It is dark when she finishes her shift and she didn’t want to walk through an isolated parking lot alone.

In his response to the charges, Nalley admitted deflating the tire of the car. Cars parked in the wrong place seem to bug Judge Nalley. After the incident became public, he told a reporter that yes, he did it, and that he had done this before.

The Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities will hear the charges against Nalley, which are based on the canon that a judge “shall respect with and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.”

The judge is willing to step up and take his medicine. He pleaded guilty to tampering with a vehicle in October and paid a $500 fine. In a creative sentencing twist, he also was ordered to write a “heartfelt” apology to Washington.

Nalley’s lawyer said he will “consent to an appropriate reprimand” from the Maryland judicial commission to the administrative charges.

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