Federal judge publicly reprimanded over 'sexually suggestive' remarks to female employees
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A federal judge in Kansas has been given a public reprimand for "sexually suggestive comments" sent to female employees and for having an affair with a person who was on probation and is now in jail.

The reprimand against Judge Carlos Murguia was laid out in a file written by Judge Timothy Tymkovich outlining the findings.

Judge Murguia “gave preferential treatment and unwanted attention to female employees,” including “sexually suggestive comments, inappropriate text messages, and excessive, non-work-related contact, much of which occurred after work hours and often late at night,” according to the file. 

“All of the harassed employees stated that they were reluctant to tell Judge Murguia to cease his behavior because of the power he held as a federal judge,” the file also states. “One of the employees eventually told him explicitly to stop his harassing conduct, but he continued.”

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Murguia also “engaged in a years-long extramarital sexual relationship with a drug-using individual who was then on probation and is now incarcerated.”

“A judge’s sexual affair does not constitute misconduct in all cases; whether a judge’s affair, even with a convicted felon, is misconduct depends on the circumstances surrounding the relationship,” the file reads. “But the Special Committee found, and the Council agrees, that Judge Murguia placed himself in such a compromised position that he made himself susceptible to extortion.”

Murguia was also “habitually late for court proceedings and meetings for years,” the file states. One cause of the judge’s tardiness was his “regularly scheduled lunchtime basketball games on days when he had hearings or trials, leaving the jury and others waiting for him to return.” 

In August 2018, Tymkovich “identified a complaint of judicial misconduct” against Murguia and appointed a special committee to investigate the allegations. The committee interviewed 23 people, and c testified under oath.

Murguia admitted engaging in "forms of misconduct,” according to the file. He apologized for his behavior and said he “will not engage in this or any other inappropriate conduct in the future.” 

The court decided to issue a public reprimand because Murguia’s actions were “too serious and the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Judiciary in the mind of the public too important for a private reprimand.” 

Murguia apologized for his actions in a statement to the Kansas City Star. 

“I also apologize to my colleagues on the Court, all of whom I very much respect, as well as my former wife, Ann, and our children, my family, my friends, and the public,” Murguia said. “I regret that I had an inappropriate relationship with an acquaintance who was on state court probation.”