Federal charge could land defrocked Judge in jail

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Court News and Arrests

From NBC 4

A former Maryland judge is facing prison time and a federal criminal charge, according to court records obtained Friday by the News4 I-Team.

Federal prosecutors accuse former Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert Nalley with an episode of misconduct while Nalley served on the bench in July 2014.

In their court filings, the prosecutors accuse Nalley of ordering a sheriff’s deputy to activate a Stun-Cuff, a remote-controlled device that deploys electro-shocks, against a criminal defendant. They said doing so deprived the victim of “due process of law.”

The charge, deprivation of rights under color of law, is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Nalley is scheduled to appear in federal court in Greenbelt Feb. 1, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein told the I-Team.

The Maryland Court of Appeals removed Nalley as a judge in September 2014. He had previously been disciplined for a 2009 episode in which he was accused of tampering with a motor vehicle. A state investigation said Nalley used a cutting device to deliberately let the air out of the tire of a car parked in his reserved courthouse parking spot.

Nalley’s defense attorney declined to comment on the case.

From the Washington Post:

The reign of Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. “Guantanamo Bob” C. Nalley is over.

The Maryland Court of Appeals has kicked him off the bench, a judiciary spokesman said Wednesday, just a little over a month after Nalley ordered a defendant in his courtroom to be electro-shocked to shut him up. ...MORE

Judges pleaded for leniency for Judge who flattened the tire of a courthouse cleaning lady

LA PLATA, MD.  — The following information describes in Judge Nalley’s own words, what took place when he retaliated against a cleaning lady’s use of his reserved parking place outside of the Charles County Courthouse on Aug. 10, 2009. Included are letters written by various Circuit Court Judges and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., begging forgiveness for Judge Nalley’s criminal act while sitting as a Circuit Court Judge.

( Editor’s Note: With all of the testimony and character witness statements listed below, none of the officials revealed that the cleaning lady who worked a part-time job at the courthouse arrived for work as she works the evening shift. She parked her car close to the courthouse due to having to exit the courthouse near midnight with no one else around to give her any security.  If anyone deserved a reserved parking place close to the courthouse, it was her. Instead, a sitting judge on the Circuit Court gave her a flat tire.)

TAKE NOTICE that the Commission on Judicial Disabilities (the “Commission”) has caused to be made and completed an investigation, through its Investigative Counsel, of Judge Robert C. Nalley, (the “Judge”) who was, at all pertinent times, a duly elected Judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland.

The Commission notified Judge Nalley of the nature of the investigation and afforded the Judge an opportunity to present any information bearing on the subject of the investigation. The Commission has received and considered the Judge’s response, through counsel, and the recommendation of Investigative Counsel.

The Commission made a finding of probable cause to believe that the Judge has committed sanctionable conduct within the meaning of the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct. In consideration of the foregoing. the Commission directed that Investigative Counsel initiate these formal proceedings, pursuant to Maryland Rule 16­808. to inquire further into the matters hereinafter set forth. The following facts form the basis for these charges and the Commission’s probable cause determination.

  1. Judge Robert C. Nalley resides in Charles County, Maryland.
  2. Judge Robert C. Nalley serves as an Associate Judge of the Charles County Circuit Court and has served in that position continuously since September 30, 1988. Judge Nalley also served as a District Court Judge for the District Court of Maryland from 1983 until 1988.
  1. On or about August 10, 2009 Judge Nalley returned to the Charles County Circuit Courthouse in the afternoon in his motor vehicle. Upon his arrival at the courthouse Judge Nalley determined that someone unknown to him had parked their vehicle in a space that was reserved for his vehicle.
  1. Upon discovering a vehicle in his designated reserved spot Judge Nalley exited his vehicle and utilizing a pen or other sharp device proceeded to deflate the tire of the vehicle that was parked in the reserved parking space by letting air out of the tire through the valve stem.
  1. On August 21, 2009 Judge Nalley was formally charged with a violation of the Transportation Code of Maryland under Section 14-1 04{a}, tampering with a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. The tampering with a motor vehicle charge was based upon Judge Nalley’s letting the air out of the tire of the vehicle belonging to Jean Washington. Ms. Washington is a part-time maintenance employee who works in the Charles County Circuit Courthouse.
  1. On October 28. 2009 Judge Nalley appeared before Maryland District Court Judge Robert Wilcox and entered a plea of guilty to the misdemeanor charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.
  1. As a result of his guilty plea, Judge Nalley was fined $500.00. ordered to provide a written apology to Ms. Washington, and placed on probation. Judge Nalley received a probation before judgment.
  1. At the time of his guilty plea Judge Nalley admitted to engaging in the conduct of tampering with a motor vehicle that belonged to another person.
  1. During the course of ‘the police investigation Judge Nalley provided the Charles County Sheriff with a written statement regarding his conduct on August 10. 2009. In his written statement Judge Nalley admitted that he released air from the tire of the car.
  1. Judge Nalley’s conduct on August 10.2009 was contrary to Maryland law and in violation of the Maryland Transportation Code. which is a misdemeanor offense.

 

If true. these allegations demonstrate that Judge Nalley’s conduct on August 10, 2009 violated Canons 1, 2A, and 6. of the Maryland Canons of Judicial Conduct. The aforesaid actions of Judge Nalley, if true. violate the following portions of the Canons of the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct. (Maryland Rule 16-813) and constitute sanctionable conduct and conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice:

CANON 1

Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary

Courthouse addition La Plata and street on which Judge Nalley had a reserved parking place.

Courthouse addition La Plata and street on which Judge Nalley had a reserved parking place is to the right, behind the white bus. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge shall observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary will be preserved. The provisions of this Code are to be construed and applied to further that objective.

CANON 2 .

Avoidance of Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety

  1. A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. A judge shall respect 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.

CANON

Compliance

  1. Courts. This code applies to each judge of the Court of Appeals. the Court of Special Appeals. a circuit court. The District Court, or an orphans’ court.
  2. Construction. Violation of any of the Canons by a judge may be regarded as conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice within the meaning of Maryland Rule 16-803 (j), as to the Commission on Judicial Disabilities.

COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL DISABILITIES

Judge Robert C. Nalley explains why he gave courthouse cleaning lady a flat tire for parking in his reserved parking space

 

Deposition of Judge Nalley before the Judicial Disabilities Commission

Question:

Judge Nalley faces jail time on new criminal charge

Judge Nalley faces jail time on new criminal charge

When you saw the car was parked in your designated reserved space, why did you take the action you took?

Judge Nalley: “Well, the car wasn’t supposed to be there. It seemed to me I had a couple of options. One would have been to do nothing. I frankly wasn’t inclined to do nothing.  Another would have been to ask that it be ticketed or towed. I frankly didn’t want to deal with it that way because it made me look officious, and I thought like someone who was determined to assert his prerogatives and position. I didn’t want to do that. It occurred to me though I did want to send a message that the car shouldn’t be there, and deflating the tire was a way of doing that, to send a message but not to do damage and not to cost anybody any money.”

Question:  Judge Nalley, as you know, we’re now in February 2010. Can you tell me now what are your thoughts about the incident of August, was it 19 August 10th?

 A  August 10th.

Judge Nalley: “My thoughts are that if I had been less impatient, less rash, more thoughtful, that I could have saved my family, particularly my wife and children, and me a lot of inconvenience and heartache and embarrassment. I could have saved the community some embarrassment, a lot of embarrassment, could have saved the judiciary locally and statewide some opprobrium or some opprobrium that has attended this, to say nothing of the expense and inconvenience to my colleagues, including Judge Missouri, including Judge Bell and everybody in between, including particularly my colleagues on the Seventh Circuit who have had to jockey around and cover my dockets since I have not been handling them.  And Amy Bragunier has fallen heir to the administrative role, has become the administrative judge. I’m trying to avoid adjectives and adverbs here. And that has let’s say changed her workload. That probably would have happened eventually anyway but I would have preferred it not to happen as precipitously as it did, certainly under these circumstances. But I’ve caused a lot of people and the community, and if you will, the system a lot of trouble, a lot of heartache. I’m somebody whose job involves sitting there telling people, you know, or asking people, what were you thinking, why didn’t you think, saying to them, I don’t take any consolation in the fact that you didn’t give it a lot of thought or didn’t think more about it than you did, maybe you’ll think more about it, be more reasonable about it next time. You know it’s very unfortunate that I’m sitting here acknowledging that I didn’t practice what I preach, what I’m paid to preach. I put this system in a bad light and I deeply regret that.”

 

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

100 Community Place

Crownsville, MD 21032

 Re: The Honorable Robert C. Nalley

Judge Larry Holtz sentences his girlfriend to serve him in chambers

Judge Larry Holtz sentences his girlfriend to serve him in chambers. He quit the bench after two other judges filed a complaint against him, which was first reported in ST. MARY’S TODAY.

 

 

 


Dear Members:

Please be advised that I have been asked by Judge Nalley to write to you concerning his upcoming appearance concerning his recent legal problems in Charles County, and I am happy to do so. Without in any way diminishing the seriousness of the incident, I would hope that Judge Nalley’s history as a judge and his sincere remorse for his actions would be a large part of the consideration of what I perceive to be the consequences to which he may be subject.

cartoonfritz062903Judge Nalley has been a judge, first on the District Court for Charles County and then on the Circuit Court for Charles County, for many years. I appeared before him in both courts many times as a practitioner and always found him to be extremely fair in his rulings and decisions.

My clients and I also were never treated with anything other than respect and courtesy, no matter how difficult or contentious the case may have been. In other words, he exhibited all of the behavior desired to be found in a judge and performed his duties in an exemplary manner.

St. Mary's Circuit Court Judge Karen Abrams

St. Mary’s Circuit Court Judge Karen Abrams

Having occasionally experienced different behavior from other judges, it was a pleasure to prepare for and present a case before Judge Nalley, whether it was civil or criminal.

Since taking the bench myself, I have had the opportunity to interact with Judge Nalley, and have found him to be a pleasure to work and converse with on those occasions.

We have, in addition, discussed the incident that brings him before this Commission, and I believe that he is truly remorseful and embarrassed by the occurrence.

I hope this will be of assistance to you in determining the appropriate action to take in this matter. ~

KAREN H. ABRAMS

Administrative Judge, (St. Mary’s County)

 

 

Abrams Judge Race Funky Feet 4-9-2002Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities

100 Community Place

Crownsville, MD 21032

Re: The Honorable Robert C. Nalley

Dear Commission Members: I write this letter in support of Judge Nalley, whom I have known for approximately twenty years. I have always known Judge Nalley to be fair and respectful to attorneys and litigants who appear before him.

The incident which brings him before you should not eclipse his career as a hardworking, intelligent judge. You will find no one who cares more about this court than Judge Nalley.

He is extremely remorseful for his actions, and he has been embarrassed and humiliated by the notoriety which has ensued. His concern is primarily for the shame he believes he has brought to his family and courthouse personnel.

Very~ ~

Amy J. Bragunier

(Circuit Court Judge, Charles County)

 

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

100 Community Place

Crownsville, Maryland 21032

Re: The Honorable Robert C. Nalley

 

Dear Commission Members:

Please accept this letter of support on behalf of Judge Robert C. Nalley regarding the current matter pending before your Commission. Although I have known Judge Nalley for over 25 years, it was after my appointment to the Circuit Court Bench in 1995 that I truly became acquainted with him.

Over the past 14 years I have observed that Judge Nalley is a dedicated public servant, who has made very significant contributions to both the Circuit Court Bench and the citizens of Charles County. I know of no other judge who works as hard as Judge Nalley. He has dedicated his professional life to ensuring that litigants have the law applied fairly and accurately when they appear before him.

It is my opinion that the citizens of Charles County have confidence that justice will prevail when he presides over his assigned caseload.

Judge Cougar and the BurglarQuite frankly, there could be no higher compliment given to a member of the Judiciary. Judge Nalley is extremely professional and efficient in dealing with counsel, the parties and all who enter the courtroom when he presides. He is willing to tackle burdensome dockets without complaint. He has earned the respect of the legal community and is known as an extremely intelligent and fair judge. Generally, I believe that Judge Nalley is recognized for his keen ability to render clear, complete and concise factual findings and accurate and insightful legal opinions from the Bench. It always impressed me that he remains a student of the law and is constantly developing his understanding of legal principles.

During the past 14 years, I have also observed Judge Nalley manage the position of Administrative Judge for Charles County. He was an outstanding administrator. I greatly admired how he would maintain his equal share of the case assignments and handle the additional administrative duties required by that position. Judge Nalley respected the decisions of his fellow judges in Charles County and totally refrained from attempting to influence them in any way. He ensured that the cases were evenly distributed amongst the presiding judges. Judge Nalley was diligent in his efforts to make sure that the Circuit Court for Charles County operated in a fair and efficient manner.

I believe his important contributions as the administrative judge are probably unknown outside the realm of individuals who work in the courthouse in Charles County. I can assure you that his efforts provided very meaningful benefits to the courts and the citizens of Charles County.

For all the years I have known Judge Nalley, he has always treated me, other members of the Bench, the members of the Bar and the public with the utmost dignity, respect and compassion. He has displayed the highest moral character and has served as a role model for newly appointed judges. His conduct and demeanor reflect positively on the Judiciary as a whole. Judge Nalley has been an invaluable asset to the successful completion of our mission in Charles County. Thank you for taking the time to consider this letter. I hope that you act favorably on behalf of Judge Nalley at this time.

Very truly yours,

Steven G. Chappelle

(STEVEN G. CHAPPELLE, Associate Judge, Charles County Circuit Court, 7th Judicial Circuit, November 20, 1995 to March 31, 2012. Retired March 31, 2012. )

 

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

 100 Community Place

Crownsville, Maryland 21032

Dear Commission Members:

I am writing on behalf of Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley. It is my understanding that he will soon be before you for disposition of his Charles County case.

Charles County Md. Sheriff Rex Coffey on his way to secure a sign while in uniform and driving a county police car.

Charles County Md. Sheriff Rex Coffey on his way to secure a campaign sign while in uniform and driving a county police car. Sheriff Coffey lost the 2014 election to Sheriff Troy Berry.

I have known Judge Nalley for 36 years. I both admire and respect what he has been able to accomplish, doing his part to make our county safe and being fair to our citizens.

I quite frankly feel that Charles County can’t afford to be without him.

That is also the opinion of many from within the law enforcement community here. I am in no way minimizing what he has done. He deserved the punishment and embarrassment he received in District Court for breaking the law.

I will ask you to take into consideration the mental torture he has subjected himself to. No one can measure that. I know he is a good and decent man who has learned from this experience and still wants to make a difference in our county. I believe he still can.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Rex on the way take two cropped Sincerely,

Rex W. Coffey, Sheriff

Charles County, Maryland

Dirty Politics in Sheriff’s Race in Charles County

 

 

Honorable Patrick L. Woodward, Chairperson

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

100 Community Place

 Crownsville, Maryland 21032

 

Re: Hon. Robert C. Nalley

 

Dear Judge Patrick L. Woodward:

I have worked with Judge Nalley for twenty-two years: first as a new assistant state’s attorney presenting cases before him in District Court; then, for seventeen years as a Master for Domestic Relations reporting directly to him; and most recently as a colleague, after my appointment to the bench. He has a record of distinguished public service stretching back even farther.

I am in awe of his dedication to the court and the tireless efforts he has made to keep the system running. He has always been willing to share his legal and judicial expertise with struggling young attorneys and experienced members of the bar alike. Judge Nalley brings a strong sense of fairness to his work, and doesn’t fail to see the human face behind the court case.

It would be a shame, and would serve no useful purpose, to impose a sanction that would hinder Judge Nalley from continuing his dedicated service to the Maryland courts. His lapse into temporary foolishness has already exacted a harsh penalty in the form of relentless media attention and public embarrassment.

After several private conversations with him, I am certain that he “gets it” and a similar error of judgment in the future is very unlikely. I am confident that the Commission will consider fully Judge Nalley’s record of service to the judicial system and design a sanction that is in proportion to the conduct. In this instance, a reprimand, which could be made public, seems sufficient. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information to the Commission.

Sincerely yours,

 Helen Ina Harrington

(Circuit Court Judge, Charles County)

 

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

100 Community Place

Crownsville, Maryland 21032

 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission:

I am writing in support of Judge Robert C. Nalley regarding the matters presently before you. I have known Judge Nalley in his position as a Judge in both District and Circuit Court in Charles County for more than 25 years. Before my appointment to the Circuit Court for Calvert County in 1993, I represented clients before him. Since my appointment to the Court I have had many dealings with him in our Judicial roles.

I was dismayed when I read and heard about the incident with Judge Nalley that brings him before you. This was not the Chris Nalley that I had known for so many years.

Toon 062704 Judge Raley and Fritz

See more on Judges of Maryland and news of cops and courts over the years in THE STORY of THE RAG in Kindle, paperback and Audible at Amazon, iTunes and Audible.com

I know that he regrets and is embarrassed, for himself as well as the judiciary, about this event. I hope that when making your decision, you will also consider his many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Charles County and the State of Maryland.

In addition to his judicial duties, he has served as State’s Attorney and been involved in community activities, such as service organizations and teaching at the local community college, the College of Southern Maryland.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Very truly yours,

Warren J. Krug

(Circuit Court Judge Calvert County)

 

Commission on Judicial Disabilities

Peoples Resource Center

100 Community Place

Crownsville, Maryland 21032

Re: Robert c. Nalley

Dear Commission: I am aware that the Commission will address the matter of Judge Nalley’s having admittedly deflated a tire on an improperly parked car at the Charles County Courthouse in August of this year. I have discussed the situation with Judge Nalley and with colleagues and write in an effort to put the incident in some perspective.

First, I am persuaded of the sincerity of Judge Nalley’s professions of regret over the matter and the negative manner in which the behavior reflected on the judiciary as a whole.

Further, it is clear to me that he appreciates the need for the Commission to be seen by judges and the public at large as unwilling to countenance even this kind of digression from deportment standards.

Briscoe's Judicial Palace. Judge John Hanson Briscoe fought hard to have the taxpayers build him a $23 million Judicial Palace. The GOP Commissioner board turned him down and decided to build an addition on the existing courthouse. See more in The Story of The Rag http://amzn.to/1Gg8G95

Briscoe’s Judicial Palace. Judge John Hanson Briscoe fought hard to have the taxpayers build him a $23 million Judicial Palace. The GOP Commissioner board turned him down and decided to build an addition on the existing courthouse. See more in The Story of The Rag http://amzn.to/1Gg8G95

Second, I can report that I have known and worked in conjunction with Judge Nalley on matters directly and tangentially involving Maryland court operations for 35 years or more.

We served together for years on the old Judicial Conference Committee on Juvenile and Family Law while I was a Juvenile Master and he was a former prosecutor and former and future juvenile judge.

Judicial Palace crybaby judgesSometimes we agreed and sometimes we did not on approaches to the recurring demands presented by limitations on juvenile services.

In the 1980s, I appeared before Judge Nalley in the District Courts of the Fourth District and thought his judgments sound, his dispositions fair and his attitude civil and reasonable; his chambers door was always open to counsel with procedural or scheduling challenges. In the late 80s, Chris and I became Seventh Circuit colleagues and on Judge Briscoe’s retirement, administrative judge colleagues. I always found Judge Nalley to be focused, if occasionally outspoken, but always interested in the system’ s well-being and in ideas tor making it work better so as to accommodate the challenges of judges and court staff and the needs and interests of people with business before us.

I suggest that you look upon the incident in question as all indiscretion out of character for someone I have observed spend a lot of years in the trenches making serious efforts which have been a credit to the Maryland judiciary.

Very truly yours,

Marvin Kaminetz

(Circuit Court Judge, St. Mary’s County)

 

William C. Brennan Jr.

Brennan Sullivan & McKenna LLP

 6305 Ivy Lane, Suite 700

 Greenbelt, Maryland 20770

In re: Judge Christopher Nalley

 Dear Bill:

Sen. Mike Miller, left.

Sen. Mike Miller, left.

First, I wish to thank you for taking the case of my lifelong friend and colleague, Judge Christopher Nalley. I have known Judge Nalley since we were young men growing up in Southern Maryland.

We both worked in our family’s grocery stores and our parents often Interacted with reference to merchandise and produce that one or the other store grew short of. Meeting young Chris Nalley, I encountered a young man who being trained by Jesuits, was always extremely polite, respectful to those around him, conscientious and had a work ethic which put many of his older peers to shame.

Our paths separated when we both went to different colleges and law schools but after law school I met him again when he became employed as an assistant state’s attorney with Charles County serving under John C. Hancock.

Mr. Hancock, an honest man, a fine state’s attorney but somewhat partial to John Barleycorn. The office was basically part time and Chris did the lion’s share of the work. Later, Chris became the State’s Attorney for Charles County and in addition to being both tenacious while fighting for Justice, he exercised sound fundamental fairness in the prosecution of cases.

Judge Nalley, I know to be a legal scholar and as a Circuit Court Judge I have seen him often rule from the bench on complex issues. His decision: are often wordy but well-reasoned and although Judge Nalley can be a very tough sentencing judge I have never heard anyone speak ill of him or anyone even suggest that he Is in any way not totally honest.

In fact, having represented Charles County in the Senate for a decade in the 80’s and 90’s every person I came in contact with, with regard to Judge Nalley, was extremely proud that he was on the bench. Having spoken to Judge Nalley concerning his current situation and being aware of what he has pled guilty to, I know that he Is sincere in his remorse. Often times we act without considering the consequences and I believe that after several days of a person parking in his parking space Judge Nalley now Wishes that he contacted the Sheriff’s Office Instead of resorting to the self-help doctrine that persons of our age bracket so often resort to.

In closing, let me simply add that Judge Nalley has suffered greatly as a result of this and the people of Charles County will greatly benefit the sooner that Judge Nalley is returned to his position as Chief Judge of the Charles County Circuit Court, is allowed to control the docket, and to dispose of any and all types of cases that come before the Circuit Court of Charles County, Maryland.

Very Truly,

Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr.

(President of the Maryland Senate)

The record of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals

STATE OF MARYLAND BEFORE THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL DISABILITIES

In the Matter of the * HONORABLE ROBERT C. NALLEY,

* Case No. CJD 2009-087 Associate Judge, Charles County Circuit Court of Maryland, *

Seventh Judicial Circuit, *

Respondent

 

AGREEMENT FOR DISCIPLINE BY CONSENT

 

The Honorable Robert C. Nalley, Associate Judge, Charles County Circuit Court of Maryland, Seventh Judicial Circuit, (“Judge Nalley”), and by and through his counsel, William C. Brennan, Jr., and Steven P. Lemmey, Investigative Counsel (“Investigative Counsel”) for the Commission on Judicial Disabilities (“Commission”), pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-808(l), hereby enter into this Agreement consisting of the following terms:

  1. On November 23, 2009, at a duly constituted regular Meeting of the Commission Members, upon unanimous vote, the Commission Members, pursuant to Rule 16-808(a), made a finding of probable cause in the above-entitled case to believe that Judge Nalley committed sanctionable conduct and directed Investigative Counsel to initiate proceedings against Judge Nalley by filing with the Commission charges that he had committed sanctionable conduct.
  2. On January 6, 2010, charges against Judge Nalley in the above-entitled case were filed by Investigative Counsel with the Commission (“Charges”) and thereafter served upon Judge Nalley. A copy of the Charges is attached to this Agreement and incorporated herein as Exhibit A.
  3. On January 15, 2010, Judge Nalley, by and through his counsel, filed a written response to the Charges. A copy of the response is attached to this Agreement and incorporated herein as Exhibit B.
  4. On April 28, 2010, the Commission held a public hearing in Courtroom No. 1 of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in regard to the above-entitled case. Investigative Counsel, with Elissa E. Goldfarb, Assistant Investigative Counsel, presented the case against Judge Nalley. The Judge was present at the hearing and represented by William C. Brennan, Jr., Esq.

The following Commission Members participated in the hearing: Honorable Patrick L. Woodward, Chair, Honorable Nancy B. Shuger, Vice Chair, William D. Berkshire, Marcy Canavan, Honorable Robert A. Greenberg, Arielle F. Hinton, Esq., Susan J. Matlick, Patricia B. Pender, Julie R. Rubin, Esq., Samuel F. Saxton, Sr., and Steven D. Silverman, Esq.

A copy of the transcript of the hearing is attached to this Agreement and incorporated herein as Exhibit C.

  1. During the Hearing, the following stipulated materials were offered and accepted into evidence without objection: Joint Exhibit 1, binder (with eleven (11) tabs of documents, including the Hearing Notice, Charges, Stipulations of Fact, Exhibit #1 – Deposition transcript of Judge Nalley on February 2, 2010, and the following deposition exhibits: statement of Judge Nalley, District Court certified docket entries, transcript of interview of Judge Nalley on August 21, 2009, and three (3) photographs).

A copy of the entire Joint Exhibit 1, binder with eleven (11) attachments, is attached to this Agreement and incorporated herein as Exhibit D. Judge Nalley, after being sworn in, responded to questions from the Commission Members and presented the sworn character testimony of Leonard C. Collins, Jr., State’s Attorney for Charles County, Anthony B. Covington, Deputy State’s Attorney for Charles County, and John Francis Mudd, Esq.

  1. Judge Nalley admits to all of the Charges and the truth of all facts constituting sanctionable conduct. In the Stipulations of Fact and the transcript of the deposition of Judge Nalley on February 2, 2010, set forth in Joint Exhibit 1, Tab C, Judge Nalley expressly admitted that he:

(i) deflated the tire of a person’s automobile by letting air out of the tire through the valve stem;

(ii) was formally charged with a violation of the Transportation Code of Maryland under Section 14-104(a), tampering with a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent;

(iii) entered a plea of guilty to the misdemeanor charge of tampering with a motor vehicle, was fined $500.00, ordered to provide an apology to the owner of the motor vehicle, placed on six months of unsupervised probation before judgment; and

(iv) violated Canons 1, 2A and 6B of the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct, Maryland Rule 16-813, and that such violations constituted sanctionable conduct and conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice. Judge Nalley submitted a written letter of apology to the owner of the vehicle and Judge Nalley has successfully completed his probation.

  1. At the conclusion of the hearing, and prior to a decision by the Commission, because of the serious nature of Judge Nalley’s conduct and his responses to questions from the Commission Members, the parties agreed that a public reprimand was not sufficient to address the issues in this case. This was so because:

(i) Judge Nalley admitted that he let the air out of someone’s tire approximately 10 years ago, although he was not charged and convicted of such offense;

(ii) the Judge’s conduct raised a serious safety issue by potentially endangering the life of the driver of the auto who might have driven the auto without realizing the tire was flat; and

(iii) Judge Nalley, as County Administrative Judge at the time of the conduct, was “responsible for the administration of justice and for the administration of the court for [Charles County]” (Md. Rule 16-101(d)2), and knowledgeable about the Sheriff’s handling of the Courthouse parking spaces.

  1. Judge Nalley has privately apologized to the owner of the vehicle and has publically apologized to the citizens of Maryland for his conduct on August 10, 2009. Judge Nalley has never denied his conduct that day and he has accepted full responsibility for his conduct and he is extremely remorseful that his actions brought unflattering attention to a member of the Maryland judiciary, thereby embarrassing his colleagues on the bench.
  2. Judge Nalley has more than 38 years of distinguished and exemplary public service to the citizens of Charles County. He served for eight and a half years as a prosecutor in the State’s Attorney’s Office and for 30 years as a member of the judiciary in both the District and Circuit Courts.
  3. The Commission, prior to rendering a decision on the merits in the above entitled case, authorized the Investigative Counsel to enter into discussions with Judge Nalley and his counsel for an Agreement of Discipline by Consent and to submit such Agreement to the Court of Appeals for the Court’s approval pursuant to Maryland Rule 16- 808(l).
  4. Judge Nalley consents to a suspension without pay for a period of five (5) work days to be completed within thirty (30) days of the date of approval of this Agreement by the Court of Appeals (“Sanction”).
  5. Judge Nalley waives his rights to further proceedings before the Commission and to subsequent proceedings before the Court of Appeals relating to the Charges and the Sanction. Judge Nalley waives all rights to challenge or dispute the Charges and the Sanction, and waives all other rights available to him under the Maryland Rules in connection with the Charges and the Sanction.
  6. Judge Nalley agrees that the Sanction, this Agreement and the Exhibits attached hereto may be admitted in any subsequent disciplinary proceeding against him, if relevant.
  7. Judge Nalley enters into this Agreement and gives his consent to the Sanction freely and voluntarily, after discussion with his counsel, William C. Brennan, Jr.
  8. Pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-808(l), the parties agree that this Agreement shall be submitted to the Court of Appeals, which shall either approve or reject this Agreement. Until approved by the Court of Appeals, this Agreement shall be confidential and privileged as required by Maryland Rule 16-808(l).

If the Court approves this Agreement and imposes the Sanction, this Agreement, and all of the attached exhibits, shall be made public as required by Maryland Rule 16-808(l). If the Court rejects this Agreement including the Sanction, the proceedings before the Commission shall resume as if no consent had been given.

AGREED: ____________________________________

_____________________________________ Hon. Robert C. Nalley

Steven P. Lemmey, Esquire Associate Judge, Charles County 100 Community Place Circuit Court of Maryland, Crownsville, MD 21032

Seventh Judicial Circuit

410-514-7044 I

Investigative Counsel Commission on Judicial Disabilities

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND

In the Matter of the

* Misc. Docket (Subtitle CJD)

 HONORABLE ROBERT C. NALLEY,

*Commission on Judicial Disabilities CJD 2009-087 *

No. 1, September Term, 2009 ***

CONSENT ORDER

Upon consideration of the Agreement for Discipline by Consent filed in the above entitled matter in accordance with Maryland Rule 16-808(l), it is this 21st day of July 2010:

ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, a majority of the Court concurring, that the Agreement for Discipline by Consent be, and it is hereby, approved; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Agreement for Discipline by Consent shall be made public; and it is further

ORDERED, that Judge Nalley shall be suspended without pay for a period of five (5) work days to be completed within thirty (30) days of July 21, 2010. /s/ Robert M. Bell Chief Judge

* Judge Murphy would have issued a public reprimand.

 

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