I completely disagree with the letter to the editor that criticized the decision to identify a judge showing potential symptoms of covid.
Official policies allow the identify of covid-positive public officials to be released to prevent and control the spread of disease. Judge Cassandra Lopez-Shaw is a public official whose salary is paid by state and county taxpayers. Judges have an ethical responsibility to exercise sound judgment in their roles. The poor judgment she showed that day causes concern about the judgment she uses in her role as a public official.
The article described a number of lawyers and court staff who were concerned about the judge coughing and not looking well. It was only after they pointed it out to her that she had a rapid covid test. Despite voiced concerns about her coughing and not looking well, she didn’t go home. Instead, she continued to expose lawyers, court staff, and everyone in her courtroom to covid. Even if she thought it was a bad cold or the flu, staying was not the responsible thing to do.
County Prosecutor Adam Cornell is also a public official and is responsible for keeping his staff safe. His letter to the court was voicing a valid concern about his employees being unnecessarily exposed to covid by the judge. It was not public humiliation; it was a responsible reaction and the right thing to do.
Most importantly, my husband was at the courthouse for jury duty and was on an elevator with the judge the morning this happened. If The Herald hadn’t written the article, my husband wouldn’t have known, nor would the many others who encountered her that day.
Writing about the incident was the responsible thing to do.