People have been sending me rumors about Cmr. Irwin H. Joseph's abrupt departure from the Santa Cruz family court. I hesitate to post unverified rumors, but I think that the public has a right to know.
Cmr. Joseph is a public official. If he was suspended for bad behavior, then I think that there should have been a public announcement. One of the rumors is that Cmr. Joseph got caught having an affair with one of the family court lawyers in town. There is one female lawyer in particular who has a reputation for getting inexplicably favorable treatment from Cmr. Joseph. The court administration is covering up the reason, the story goes, because it does not want to reopen all the cases in which this female lawyer got favorable rulings from Cmr. Joseph.
There is also a story that the court clerks all hated Cmr. Joseph. He was a temperamental bully who occasionally threatened for fire them for trivial matters. They have filed written complaints about him, and reported him for unethical conduct. They are happy to get a new judge.
There is also a story that Cmr. Joseph was allowed to use to medical cover story to explain his absence. Supposedly they would have fired him altogether, but they did not have another judge to replace him, and the other judges did not want to do the extra work.
I don't know too much about Cmr. Joseph. I know that he is married, because he has mentioned his wife in court. There are a couple of female lawyers who have a reputation for getting favorable treatment in family court. Everyone says that his favoritism to certain parties is obvious.
I think that the court administration owes the public some sort of explanation. They are shuffling him into juvenile delinquency court, where I guess that he will do less damage, but the kids in that court still have a right to know whether they are getting an honorable judge.