Pants Judge Ordered Out of Office

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Reports last week that Roy Pearson would lose his job were confirmed on Tuesday, when the panel that oversees administrative law judges in D.C. had a letter hand-delivered to him at about 3:30 p.m., telling him to vacate his office by the end of the day.  Although the ruling was not a surprise to Pearson, it is still pleasant to think of him receiving a letter giving him just 90 minutes to get out of the building.

Pearson, as you likely know, is now notorious for his failed lawsuit against his neighborhood dry cleaners demanding $56 million (originally $65 million, but revised to be more reasonable) for claims relating to a pair of lost pants.  He has been squatting in his office since his term ended in May, waiting for the committee to make a decision, and continued to draw his $100,000 salary during that time, apparently for doing nothing.  The committee’s ruling does not prohibit Pearson from continuing to do nothing — they just want him to do it somewhere else and are going to stop paying him for it.

Sources told the Washington Post that Pearson’s lawsuit did not play a significant role in the decision not to reappoint him (which is unlikely).  Instead, the committee claimed that, after reviewing Pearson’s past judicial decisions and listening to audiotaped proceedings, it found he did not demonstrate "appropriate judgment and judicial temperament" (which is unsurprising).  The committee also said Pearson had been "combative" with supervisors and colleagues — his decision to write a 14-page letter to the mayor asking him to remove the chief administrative law judge for the District might have factored into that one — and had failed to comply with agency policies when drafting opinions.

Pearson is appealing the dismissal of his case against the dry cleaners, and may well appeal his own dismissal, too.

Link: Washington Post