Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has called for a judge that he appointed to be removed from the bench temporarily while a federal grand jury investigates whether she helped an illegal immigrant escape the courthouse before ICE agents could detain him.
Such a move, Baker said, violates court policies.
“I don’t believe she should be hearing criminal cases until that federal case is resolved,” Baker said of Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph. “Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice.”
Joseph was presiding over the case of Jose Medina-Perez, who was being arraigned on drug charges. He was deported twice before.
At one point, Joseph is heard on a courtroom recording during the April 2 arraignment saying, “ICE is going to get him.”
Joseph orders the courtroom clerk to stop recording, leaving a 58-second gap in the audio recording.
Afterwards, Medina-Perez was escorted from the courtroom, released from custody and let out through the back door, according to two people briefed on the incident the Boston Globe reports. He allegedly climbed over the fence and ran away as ICE chased him.
In the meantime, the governor has called on court officials to remove Joseph from presiding over criminal cases until the investigation is complete.
“I don’t believe she should be hearing criminal cases until that federal case is resolved,” Baker said of the judge. “Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice.”
Boston considers itself a sanctuary city that won’t help ICE round up illegal immigrants.