Bar President: Both judges should be disqualified

6:46 PM, Sep 15, 2010   |    comments
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Ungar said he wants to assure the public that the kind of conduct alleged against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judges Bridget McCafferty and Steve Terry today is "not the normal order of business, nor how business is conducted in the Cuyahoga County Justice Center."

Ungar said that state law requires that, because they have been indicted on a felony charge, they must automatically be temporarily removed from the bench.

Ungar said both judges should be disqualified from hearing cases.

Cuyahoga Administrative Judge Nancy Fuerst released a statement late Wednesday.

"The Ohio Supreme Court has been notified that Judge Bridget McCafferty and Judge Steven Terry have been indicted on federal charges. Effective this morning, both judges were disqualified from performance of their judicial duties, as required by Rule III, Section 6 of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government the Judiciary of Ohio."

"The Ohio Supreme Court will appoint visiting judges to preside over the dockets of Judges Terry and McCafferty. Parties and attorneys with pending cases on those dockets will be contacted by court personnel in the event there are scheduling changes."

"Members of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court are shocked and deeply saddened by these developments but remain focused on continuing the daily work of the Court during this difficult time."

Both Terry and McCafferty pleaded not guilty this afternoon and were released on bond.

Afterwards, McCafferty told Channel 3's Chris Tye, "I plan to move forward to re-election and I plan to serve another term on the bench."

Her opponent this November is Mike Astrab. He released the following statement following McCafferty's indictment:

"Bridget McCafferty has violated the public trust. She has absolutely no business sitting on the bench, either in 2010 or 2011 or beyond."

"McCafferty's to-do list today should include resigning as judge and then removing her name from the general election ballot."

McCafferty did cancel her re-election fundraiser at The Harp that was scheduled for 5:30 tonight.

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