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Judicial Misconduct And Ethics Violations Of Judge Marjorie Yashar In Rhode Island Courts

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Traffic Tribunal Judge Marjorie Yashar is facing some resistance in her fight to return to the bench. Chief District Court Judge Albert DeRobbio has refused to pay her or assign her any cases since the beginning of June, when she attempted to return to the court after being on unpaid leave for medical reasons.  According to the "Providence Journal," Yashar has filed a petition in Superior Court to force DeRobbio to return her to "paid status."  DeRobbio has countered, saying she had not complied with "reasonable conditions" for returning to the payroll.  DeRobbio is also asking her to admit that she worked full days less than half of last year, violated rules and reassigned, then dismissed, a case without notifying the prosecuting police department.

An embattled Traffic Tribunal judge has been summoned to appear before the court next month for striking a traffic magistrate's car in the court parking lot and leaving without notifying the owner, a state police spokesman said yesterday.  Judge Marjorie R. Yashar neglected to notify the owner of the unattended car, magistrate Dominic A. DiSandro III, after bumping it with her vehicle while exiting the Harris Avenue lot shortly after noon Wednesday, said Capt. Raymond White.  Yashar, who was charged in January with assaulting her husband and has been on unpaid leave, was pulling out of the lot in her 2003 Mercedes Benz when she bumped DiSandro's 2002 Chrysler Sebring convertible, causing minor damage to his rear bumper, White said.  Yashar's action was not deliberate, but "if you're involved in a collision with an unattended vehicle, it's your responsibility to find the owner and notify him or her . . . or leave a note on the car with information so the person can track you down," White said.  Assault charges against her husband were later dropped and the case dropped.

1-2007 - PROVIDENCE, R.I. Former Traffic Tribunal Judge Marjorie Yashar is convicted of scratching the bumper of another car in the court's parking lot and driving away without leaving a note. Yashar was ordered to pay a 500-dollar fine, the maximum penalty for the civil violation. Yashar retired as a traffic judge in September 2005. Her June 2005 incident in the courthouse parking lot was caught on security cameras. Yesterday's decision followed a two-day trial, in which defense lawyer said the damage was slight and that Yashar had agreed to pay to fix the scratches. But the judge ruled that Yashar should be held to the same standards as all citizens. Yashar did not attend her trial.

March 2006 - PROVIDENCE, R.I. An embattled judge on the state's traffic tribunal retired last fall with a pension that credited her for eight months that she spent on unpaid leave. Judge Marjorie Yashar's pension was $120,310 when she retired last September, but that amount includes $38,660 she collected while on leave from her job, according to The Providence Sunday Journal.

Traffic Tribunal Chief Judge Albert DeRobbio said he was not involved in calculating Yashar's pension and was not sure who credited her for the unpaid leave. State Court Administrator J. Joseph Baxter Jr. signed off on the pension but said his staff only verifies a judge's start date and retirement date.

Yashar admitted last fall to four violations of judicial ethics rules, including demeaning the judicial office and leaving early from work, and was publicly censured in October by the state Supreme Court. The judge was charged in January 2005 with stomping on her husband's foot, but the charge was later dropped. She asked in February of last year to be placed on unpaid medical leave. Yashar tried to return to work last June, but DeRobbio refused to return her to the payroll or give her any cases. She officially resigned on Sept. 27.

"My position was I didn't care personally about retirement," DeRobbio said. "I didn't care about what she received. My position is: as soon as she goes, that's fine. But I want to make sure she is off my payroll." Yashar reached her 20-year anniversary with the traffic tribunal while on leave, making her eligible for a 100-percent-of-salary pension. She also turned 65, which allowed her to begin collecting a pension immediately upon retirement. Yashar never stopped collecting credit for her pension during the months she was on unpaid leave. Yashar did not answer a reporter's question about whether her pension was discussed in retirement negotiations with DeRobbio. "I'm in Florida," Yashar told the Journal. "My mind isn't on what happened there and then. So I really can't answer that for you now as much as I'd like to."

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