COURT NEWS: What is in the water at the Charles County Courthouse? now Judge Lou Hennessey faces serious charges involving a defendant in jail for domestic abuse

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COURT NEWS: Another Charles County Judge Faces Removal: Judge Lou Hennessey says he just has a big heart; charged with advising domestic abuser in repeated jailhouse phone calls

What in the world is in the water at the Charles County Courthouse?

LAPLATA, MD. – Since 1996, three Charles County Judges have faced removal and either resigned, were removed from the bench and one was convicted of violating the civil rights of a defendant by ordering a deputy to activate an electronic stun cuff that left him screaming in pain on the courtroom floor as jury selection was underway. Another Judge was having sex with a defendant in his chambers and leaned on junior judges to let his mistress off from another DWI charge. Now A third Charles County Judge has trouble remembering he is a judge and not a criminal defense attorney.

Judge Nalley Was Repeat Offender at Flattening Tires of Cars Parked in his Reserved Space at Courthouse; Ordered Defendant Zapped in Courtroom

Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley was removed from the Charles County Circuit Court by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2014 following his ordering the tasering of a defendant in his courtroom who was not violent but simply continued to talk. In a 2009 incident, Judge Nalley flattened the tire of a cleaning lady who parked close to the courthouse when she came to work at 4 pm as when she finished her job at midnight, there was no one around to keep her safe, making a close-in space very important to her.  Judge Nalley was found guilty of both incidents and in 2016 in Federal Court was sentenced to probation.

Have Sex with Judge Holtz, Get A Get Out of Jail Free Card

District Court Judge Larry Holtz sentenced his mistress to his chambers for sex.

Charles County District Court Judge Larry Holtz was having an affair with a Waldorf hairdresser and when she appeared before him in court, she was sentenced to service him in his Judge’s chambers. When the woman was busted for DWI in St. Mary’s County, Judge Holtz leaned on St. Mary’s County District Court Judge C. Clarke Raley to let her off easy. Judge Gary Gasparovich and Judge Raley both filed a complaint against Judge Holtz, who was at the time the administrative Judge of the 4th District, with authority over all District Court Judges in Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Charles.

St. Mary’s Circuit Court Judge C Clarke Raley at the dedication of the Circuit Courthouse. ST. MARY’S TODAY photo

When ST. MARY’S TODAY broke the news story about the complaint to the Judicial Disabilities Commission by the two judges, soon after Holtz quit the bench on November 30, 1996, to avoid being removed by the Court of Appeals.  Holtz later picked up a federal job chasing down and prosecuting deadbeat dads who worked for the federal government. Court Liaison for the Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Holtz, who was married, had sexual relations with a woman after she appeared before him as a defendant in a 1991 drunken driving case.

ST. MARY’S TODAY reported that the Judges alleged that Holtz twice telephoned District Court Judge C. Clarke Raley in St. Mary’s County last year in a bid to influence another drunken-driving case the woman faced. The case was in Raley’s court.

ST. MARY’S TODAY was soon joined by Washington Post reporter Todd Shields in covering the story and both newspapers reported that the woman told investigators that her affair with Holtz began after he sentenced her in 1991, while she was still under Holtz’s judicial supervision.

Rather than have his affair with a defendant under his administration in court revealed with all its lurid details as the Commission on Judicial Disabilities held hearings, Holtz headed for the exit and resigned.  Holtz died in 2020.

District-Court-Judge-W.-Louis-Hennessey

CHARGES AGAINST JUDGE LOUIS HENNESSEY

TAKE NOTICE that the Commission on Judicial Disabilities (hereinafter “Commission”) has caused to be made and completed an investigation, through its Investigative Counsel, Tanya C. Bemstein, Esq., of Judge W. Louis Hennessy (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “Judge”), who was, at alt pertinent times, a Judge of the District Court of Maryland for Charles County.

The Commission notified Judge Hennessy of the nature of the investigation and afforded the judge an opportunity to present information bearing on the subject of the investigation.

The Commission has received and considered information from the investigation, including, but not limited to: complaint and attachment received; witness statements; recorded jail calls and related call logs; summaries of relevant cellular records; law enforcement body camera footage; affidavits; real property information; audio recordings of hearings; the judge’s response and all attachments and materials incorporated therein by reference; the recommendations of Investigative Counsel; and the Report of the Judicial Inquiry Board. In consideration of the foregoing and a finding by the Commission of probable cause to believe that Judge Hennessy has committed sanctionable conduct, the Commission directed that Investigative Counsel initiate formal proceedings against Judge Hennessy pursuant to Rule 18-431 (a). The Commission will conduct a public hearing on these charges pursuant to Rule 18434.

(i)            Criminal Defendant I

On March 20, 2020, an individual (hereinafter referred to as “Defendant

I “) was incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center after an arrest related to second-degree assault charges and subsequent charges for violation of a protective order. Prior to March 2020, Defendant I had a lengthy history of criminal charges filed in St. Mary’s and Charles Counties and neighboring jurisdictions arising from various alleged behavior, including but not limited to multiple assaults, possession of controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”), driving while impaired, firearms possession, violations of protective and peace orders, and failures to appear for trial necessitating the issuance of bench warrants. Records of these charges are publicly available.

The victim of Defendant I ‘s alleged second-degree assault and violation of protective order charges (hereinafter referred to as “Victim l”) is the mother of Defendant I ‘s three youngest children. Defendant I and Victim 1 resided in a home solely owned by Defendant 1. Following Defendant I’s March 2020 arrest, Victim I was granted use and possession of the home, where she resided with their minor child, pursuant to protective order. Judge Hennessy and Defendant I had a personal relationship that preceded Defendant I ‘s March 2020 attest, and Judge Hennessy knew the relationship and legal history of Defendant I and Victim l. Judge Hennessy was also acquainted with Defendant I’s extended family.

Judge Hennessy repeatedly engaged in inappropriate communications with and on behalf of Defendant i. On at least ten (10) occasions between May and August 2020, Judge Hennessy communicated with Defendant I by telephone while Defendant 1 was an inmate at the St. Mary’s County Detention and

Rehabilitation Center. All calls placed to and from the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center are recorded and subject to monitoring, All callers and recipients of these calls are advised of the same at the beginning of each call. Many of the communications between Judge Hennessy and Defendant I occurred during the business hours of the District Court for Charles County.

During these communications, Judge Hennessy repeatedly provided legal advice to Defendant I to further Defendant I ‘s goal of circumventing the use and possession order to remove Victim I from the family home and to assist Defendant 1 in being released from confinement. These communications were consistent throughout Defendant I ‘s incarceration and included, but are not limited to, providing legal advice regarding Defendant I ‘s criminal defense; providing legal advice regarding a plea offer made to Defendant 1 that influenced Defendant I ‘s decision to plead guilty; answering Defendant I ‘s questions about his case, including, but not limited to, the timelines of motions and hearings and explanations of pleadings; and advising Defendant I of the steps necessary to obtain work release and/or home detention. Judge Hennessy also shared with Defendant 1 his belief that Defendant I was wrongly accused. Judge Hennessy’s efforts to assist Defendant I also included misuse of court resources and personnel to review docket entries, obtain information, and locate documents on behalf of Defendant 1 and counseling Defendant I based on information received from those sources.

Judge Hennessy communicated with Victim I on at least two occasions for purposes of assisting in Defendant I ‘s defense and pursuing Defendant 1 ‘s release from incarceration. After one such communication with Victim 1, Judge Hennessy reported to Defendant I the content of the communication and made disparaging comments about Victim I and domestic violence victims in general, responding to Defendant ‘s claim that Victim I was misusing the police by stating, “She’s not the first woman to do this, and she won’t be the last.” When Defendant I complained that Victim 1 was ungrateful, Judge Hennessy replied,

“Women have short memories man, you know.”

Judge Hennessy was aware of the impropriety of his communications with Defendant l.

“I can’t say anything to him. Let me tell you something, he is very, very strict about that shit, you know, and he would fire me up, I would get in big trouble if I said anything to him.”

After Defendant I asked Judge Hennessy to communicate with the judge possibly assigned to his case, Judge Hennessy responded, “I can’t say anything to him. Let me tell you something, he is very, very strict about that shit, you know, and he would fire me up, I would get in big trouble if I said anything to him.” Nonetheless, Judge Hennessy encouraged Defendant i to continue to call him to discuss his case.

Judge Hennessy also engaged in ongoing communications with others on Defendant 1 ‘s behalf, including, but not limited to, members of Defendant 1 ‘s family. For example, Judge Hennessy’s cell phone records reflect approximately thirty-one (31) connections with Defendant I ‘s son between April and November 2020, and approximately thirty-nine (39) connections between Judge Hennessy and a telephone number used by both Defendant I and Victim I between March and February 2021, among others.

Judge Hennessy communicated with Defendant I ‘s son and invited the son to the judge’s home on more than one occasion to discuss Defendant l. These communications included, but were not limited to, engaging in general discussions about Defendant I ‘s criminal matter; advising about obtaining power of attorney over the family home for purposes of evicting Victim I ; advising of the legal implications of the use and possession provision of the protective order granted to Victim l; requesting a copy of the protective order granted to Victim I ; and counseling about Defendant I ‘s plan to grant power of attorney over the family home. Judge Hennessy also advised Defendant I’s son about the risk of Defendant I continuing to discuss evicting Victim I on recorded jail calls.

Judge Hennessy actively assisted Defendant I in obtaining legal counsel and repeatedly communicated with Defendant I ‘s counsel on Defendant I ‘s behalf. Judge Hennessy referred Defendant I to his first attorney (hereinafter referred to as “Lawyer A”), a friend who Judge Hennessy had previously introduced to Defendant I in the judge’s chambers. Thereafter, Judge Hennessy spoke to Lawyer A about Defendant I ‘s case and served as a liaison between Defendant I and Lawyer A. Judge Hennessy’s cell phone records reflect at least forty-one (41) connections between Judge Hennessy and Lawyer A from March to December 2020. Judge Hennessy would routinely report to Defendant the content of his communications with Lawyer A and advise Defendant I on how to proceed.

For example, Judge Hennessy told Defendant I that he had discussed Defendant I ‘s upcoming court hearing with Lawyer A and offered to follow up with Lawyer A after the hearing; he informed Defendant I about Laver A’s communications with the Office of the State’s Attorney; and he offered to speak to Lawyer A when Defendant I was dissatisfied with the speed and quality of

Lawyer A’s service. When Defendant 1 engaged the services of a new attorney

(Hereinafter referred to as “Lawyer B”) in June of 2020, Judge Hennessy communicated with Lawyer B on multiple occasions on behalf of Defendant 1 both by telephone and an in-person meeting at Lawyer B’s office.

Judge Hennessy’s relationship with Defendant I and involvement in his legal representation were made known to multiple individuals. Defendant I frequently used his relationship with Judge Hennessy and the advice he received to influence and intimidate those around him as well as to secure their cooperation. Defendant 1 portrayed Judge Hennessy as his friend and repeatedly told his friends, family, attorneys, and others about Judge Hennessy’s willingness to assist Defendant 1 and provide legal advice and other services, including but not limited to telling his son, ” Lou is like a lawyer and he’s giving us free advice right now.”

                (ii)           Criminal Defendant 2

On or about August 14, 2020, an individual (hereinafter referred to as ‘Defendant 2″) was incarcerated at the St. Mary’s Detention and Rehabilitation Center (Jail) after an arrest following second-degree assault charges. The victim of Defendant 2’s second-degree assault charges (hereinafter referred to as “Victim 2”) is the mother of Defendant 2’s minor child. Prior to his August 2020 arrest,

Defendant 2 had a lengthy history of criminal charges for domestic violence (related to Victim 2 and others) and motor vehicle violations filed in St. Mary’s County and surrounding jurisdictions. Records related to these charges are publicly available.

Judge Hennessy repeatedly engaged in inappropriate communications with and on behalf of Defendant 2. Judge Hennessy communicated with Defendant 2 by telephone on at least (5) five occasions between August and December 2020. The first known communication between Judge Hennessy and Defendant 2 during this time period occurred on or about August 14, 2020, while Defendant 2 was under arrest, handcuffed, and detained by law enforcement at the mobile home community where the alleged assault occurred. The conversation was partially recorded by law enforcement body camera(s). Judge Hennessy advised Defendant 2 that the conversation was not confidential and advised Defendant 2 to remain silent.

On or about August 16, 2020, Judge Hennessy traveled to the mobile home community and interviewed three (3) individuals (hereinafter referred to as “Affiants”) about the events that led to Defendant 2’s arrest. Judge Hennessy procured three (3) handwritten affidavits on behalf of Defendant 2, one from each Affiant. Judge Hennessy was accompanied to the mobile home community by a member of his immediate family who notarized the affidavits. Two (2) of the affidavits were written in the same handwriting and the Affiant associated with one of those affidavits stated that his affidavit was handwritten by Judge Hennessy.

Judge Hennessy provided these affidavits to Defendant 2’s attorney (hereinafter referred to as “Assistant Public Defender”) who filed the affidavits as exhibits in Defendant 2’s case. During a hearing in Defendant 2’s case, the Assistant Public Defender stated in open court as follows:

“I spoke to Judge Louis Hennessy who is someone that employs [Defendant 2] on a regular basis. Judge Hennessy had good things to say about his punctuality and his trustworthiness and it’s also important to note that Judge Hennessy and [Redacted] visited the trailer park over the weekend I believe and did secure some affidavits that are sworn and notarized that I submitted through MDEC for the court’s consideration”.

A private attorney later retained by Defendant 2 also referred to the affidavits in open court at a subsequent hearing and proffered that they were provided “to a very well respected, um, official.”

The remaining communications between Judge Hennessy and Defendant 2 during the relevant time period occurred while Defendant 2 was an inmate at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. All calls placed to and from the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center are recorded and subject to monitoring. All callers and recipients of these calls are advised of the same at the beginning of each such call. Half of the communications between Judge Hennessy and Defendant 2 occurred during the business hours of the District Court for Charles County.

During these communications, Judge Hennessy provided Defendant 2 with legal advice and assisted Defendant 2 in securing his release from jail. To that end, Judge Hennessy agreed to communicate and did communicate with Victim 2 on Defendant 2’s behalf and agreed to communicate and did communicate with Lawyer A for purposes of retaining his legal services on Defendant 2’s behalf,

Judge Hennessy agreed to communicate with Victim 2 on more than one occasion on Defendant 2’s behalf for purposes of obtaining an affidavit from Victim 2 recanting her assault allegations. In discussing the possibility of Victim 2 signing an affidavit, Defendant 2 asked Judge Hennessy, “What about the fact of [Victim 2] being mentally incapable?” Judge Hennessy responded, “She may be. Then it may be a defense at the trial, you know? But in the meantime, that doesn’t help you because you’re sitting in jail.” Judge Hennessy thereafter communicated with Victim 2 notwithstanding a protective order prohibiting contact with Victim 2 on behalf of Defendant 2.

In his communications with Victim 2, Judge Hennessy advised her regarding the potential legal consequences of recanting her statements to law enforcement and sought information from Victim 2 for the benefit of Defendant 2. Victim 2 subsequently reported to Defendant 2 that she viewed the legal advice provided by Judge Hennessy as a threat. Judge Hennessy also reported to Defendant 2 the content of his communications with Victim 2 and used the information obtained from Victim 2 to advise Defendant 2 about his current legal situation.

 Judge Hennessy’s behavior provides evidence that Judge Hennessy engaged in conduct that was prejudicial to the proper administration of justice in Maryland Courts, pursuant to the Maryland Constitution, Article IV, Section 4B(b)(l).

These charges are issued by Investigative Counsel at the direction of the Commission on Judicial Disabilities.

RESPONSE OF JUDGE HENNESSY TO CHARGES

Judge, W. Louis Hennessy (“Judge Hennessy”), by and through undersigned counsel, William C. Brennan, Jr. and Brennan, McKenna & Lawlor, Chtd., and pursuant to Md. Rule 18-431 says in response to the Charges filed in this matter on July 21, 2021, the following:

General Response

•     Judge Hennessy denies that he committed sanctionable conduct as defined in Md. Rule 18-

•     Judge Hennessy denies that he violated the Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct as set forth in Md. Rule 18-100 et seq.

Response to Specific Allegations

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he engaged in improper and inappropriate discussions; that he provided legal and other assistance; that he lent the prestige of judicial office and permitted others to convey the impression of judicial influence; and that he misused judicial resources on behalf of at least two criminal defendants.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he engaged in discussions and provided legal assistance to at least two domestic violence victims and that he demonstrated a bias against women and victims of domestic violence.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he failed to give precedence to the duties of judicial office; that he failed to uphold and apply the law and perform all the duties of judicial office impartially and fairly; that he failed to comply with the law; and that he otherwise engaged in misconduct unbecoming of an officer of the court and in direct contravention to a judge’s responsibility to promote confidence in the Judiciary.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he refused to make efforts consistent with the Maryland Rules, and other law, to facilitate the ability of all litigants, including self-represented litigants, to be fairly heard and that he failed to perform the duties of judicial office without bias or prejudice and neglected to require others to refrain from similar conduct.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he engaged in, initiated, and responded to ex parte communications, that he made judicial statements on pending and impending cases and that he encouraged court staff to act in a manner inconsistent with the judge’s responsibilities under the Code of Judicial Conduct.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he failed to respond to attorney misconduct.

•             Judge Hennessy denies that he engaged in extra-official activities; that he engaged in the practice of law and that he engaged in activities that could result in criminal consequences.

Additional Response

•             Judge Hennessy is a judge of the District Court of Maryland for Charles County.

•             The legal matters involving Criminal Defendant l, Criminal Defendant 2, Victim l, Victim 2, Lawyer A, Lawyer B and Assistant Public Defender all involved cases in the District Court of Maryland for St. Mary’s County.

•             Judge Hennessy did not preside over any cases involving Criminal Defendant l, Criminal Defendant 2, Victim 1, or Victim 2. Those parties never appeared in court before Judge Hennessy.

•             Judge Hennessy did not intervene with, or discuss with, or have any contact with any member of the judiciary, the State’s Attorney’s Office or law enforcement in St. Mary’s County, or any county in the State of Maryland, on behalf of, or concerning, Criminal Defendant l, Criminal Defendant 2, Victim l, or Victim 2.

•             Criminal Defendant I and Criminal Defendant 2 were incarcerated in the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center (Jail) because of criminal cases and other legal proceedings in St. Mary’s County. These were not Charles County cases.

•             Judge Hennessy advised Criminal Defendant l, Criminal Defendant 2, Victim l, and Victim 2 to obtain independent legal counsel.

•             Judge Hennessy did not provide any substantive legal advice to Criminal Defendant l, Criminal Defendant 2, Victim l, or Victim 2 other than that they should obtain independent legal counsel.

•             Judge Hennessy admits that he commiserated with certain parties in this matter, but he did so as a private citizen and not as an attorney or a member of the judiciary. Judge Hennessy has always been empathetic of those less fortunate. He would never turn his back on someone who came to him in a time of need. His default position is to try and help others as he has done all of his life.

•             Judge Hennessy agrees that speaking, in general terms, with an old friend and a recent acquaintance, concerning criminal cases in other jurisdictions may not have been the most appropriate course of conduct for a sitting judge. However, Judge Hennessy’s conduct was not intended to be harmful and was the result of personal relationships and an inherent desire to help others. The Maryland Judiciary has acknowledged that social issues often limit access to justice for some individuals. Judge Hennessy was encouraging those who reached out to him to avail themselves of all available resources of the Maryland Court system. Judge Hennessy’s conduct was not prejudicial to the administration of justice and does not reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a jurist.

•             Judge Hennessy is an excellent jurist with a heart of gold. Upon careful reflection, he acknowledges that he should learn to say “no” when people reach out to him for help despite his innate desire to help people.

•     Judge Hennessy respectfully requests that the Commission on Judicial Disabilities (“the Commission”) dismiss the charges issued by Investigative Counsel at the direction of the Commission and terminate the proceeding.

Respectfully submitted,

Date: August 23, 2021    

William C. Brennan Jr. Esq.

John DiGiovanni attorney William C. Brennan being interview by WUSA reporter Gary Reals outside of the Charles County Circuit Courthouse during the trial regarding the arson of the Playhouse Lounge. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Former Charles County Circuit Court Judge Sentenced for Civil Rights Violation

Ordered the Activation of a Defendant’s Stun-Cuff During Jury Selection

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly sentenced former Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley, of La Plata, Maryland, today to one year of probation for deprivation of rights under color of law for ordering a deputy sheriff to activate a stun-cuff worn by a pro se criminal defendant during a pre-trial court proceeding.  As a condition of his probation, Nalley must attend anger management classes.  Magistrate Judge Connelly also ordered Nalley to pay a fine of $5,000.

“Disruptive defendants may be excluded from the courtroom and prosecuted for obstruction of justice and contempt of court, but force may not be used in the absence of danger,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

From 1988 to September 2014, Nalley served as a judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland.  According to his guilty plea, on July 23, 2014, Nalley presided over the jury selection for the victim, who was representing himself in a criminal proceeding in Charles County court.  Before the proceedings began, a deputy sheriff informed Nalley that the victim was wearing a stun cuff.  Nalley was aware that when activated, the stun-cuff would administer an electrical shock to the victim, thereby incapacitating him and causing him pain.

Several minutes after the proceedings began, Nalley asked the victim whether he had any questions for the potential jurors.  The victim repeatedly ignored Nalley and instead read from a prepared statement, objecting to Nalley’s authority to preside over the proceedings, while standing calmly behind a table in the courtroom.  The victim did not make any aggressive movements, did not attempt to flee the courtroom, and did not pose a threat to himself or to any other person at any point during the proceedings. Nalley twice ordered the victim to stop reading his statement, but the victim continued to speak.

According to his plea agreement, Nalley then ordered the deputy sheriff to activate the stun-cuff, which administered an electric shock to the victim for approximately five seconds.  The electric shock caused the victim to fall to the ground and scream in pain.  Nalley then recessed the proceedings.

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

Circuit-Court-Judge-Robert-C.-Nalley-on-the-way-to-court.-THE-CHESAPEAKE-TODAY-photo

JUDGE NALLEY A REPEAT OFFENDER AT DEFLATING TIRES AT THE COURTHOUSE OF THOSE WHO PARKED IN HIS RESERVED SPOT

During questioning by Charles County Sheriff Sgt. Brooks, Judge Nalley admitted that he had flattened the tire of another person in the courthouse parking lot but no official complaint resulted. This incident was ten years earlier, the judge admitted.

Fellow 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, Jean Washington, 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
Judge-Robert-Nalley-one-year-probation-on-federal-charges-photo-courtesy-of-WUSA

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 a 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 heartaches. 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.

cartoonfritz062903

Judge 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 4-9-2002

Maryland 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 Burglar

Quite 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 is 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.

 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, hardcover, 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 to the existing courthouse. See more in The Story of The Rag

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 judges

Sometimes 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 for 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, at left, with Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs George Owings and the late Speaker of the House Michael Busch. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

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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