I was (as usual) reading through Yahoo news and came across an article about the “Naked Manitoba Judge”. Her name is Chief Justice Lori Douglas. Approximately 10 years ago, some very intimate photos of her were published on the internet by her husband in an apparent effort to entice a client to have sex with her. (The article did not elaborate who the person was a client of and for what purpose). 4 years ago, the client made the photos public. Since that time, the Chief Justice has been on paid leave pending the outcome of numerous legal maneuvers which ultimately led to her being forced to retire. A disciplinary panel “was examining whether the photos were “inherently contrary to the image and concept of integrity” of the judiciary and whether they undermined public confidence in the justice system.” Whether or not this is the right call, I am willing to be persuaded either way. On the one hand, I am having a hard time seeing how her sexual activities in her personal life have any bearing on her capabilities as a judge. On the other hand, she at least implicitly if not explicitly exhibited some very poor judgment that would call into question those capabilities. So perhaps the right call was made. In any case, she is now out of a job and will be retired and collecting a pension.
So that brings me to my next point. Rob Ford. The homophobic, crack smoking, alcoholic former Mayor (now counselor) for the City of Toronto. A man who was and is again the subject of conflict of interest trials. A man who was video taped and later admitted to smoking crack and has had numerous, well documented substance abuse incidents throughout his political career. A man who clearly had alcohol abuse issues and finally decided to get the help he needed via a rehab facility. A man who had all of his powers completely removed from him in 2 separate votes by an overwhelming majority of his work colleagues (39-3 and 40-2) because they lost all confidence in his ability to perform his duties as the Mayor of the largest city in Canada. Was he forced to retire? No. As a matter of fact, he was re-elected as a city counselor (a post he held prior to being elected as Mayor) by a landslide in this last election (October 2014) How can this be?!?!?! How and why do we hold publicly elected individuals to completely different standards than everyone else? Is there any way to change this?
I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.