Ravena court clerk alleging harassment, intimidation, hostile work environment
Jul 13, 2020 5:45 am
Kate Lisa is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media Ravena village trustees are denying their June decision to abolish the village court had anything to do with the alleged misconduct of Justice Harold Warner III and the impact of that behavior on working conditions for village employees. "No, it had nothing to do with that at all," Mayor William Misuraca said. Ravena lawmakers dissolved the court for financial reasons compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Gloria Stanton, the court clerk, advised Misuraca by letter in early March that a hostile work environment has existed inside the court for years. "Over the past decade, I have been the victim of repeated harassment, intimidation and a hostile work environment at the hands of Judge Harold Warner," Stanton wrote. She then filed an official complaint with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct that same month. Stanton has alleged that Warner is guilty of misconduct as village justice, including making inappropriate decisions and not abstaining from cases with potential conflicts of interest. He ruled on two cases of close family friends in 2014 and 2016, according to the complaint. "Judge Warner's behavior is very concerning," Stanton wrote in her complaint to the commission. "His anger is becoming more irrational and is escalating." Stanton served as court clerk for more than 21 years, and worked for Warner for almost 14 years. Warner was employed as an Albany police officer for 35 years and has served as village justice since 2007. The commission has opened an investigation into Stanton's allegations. The decision to abolish the village court is subject to permissive referendum, meaning the department will be dissolved July 16, if residents do not file a qualifying petition. Read the full story in The Ravena News-Herald.