The presiding justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose stepped down this week amid allegations that he sexually harassed and discriminated against women, according to the Mercury News.
Conrad Rushing, who was appointed to the court in 2002 by Gov. Gray Davis, was the subject of a scathing report by the state Judicial Council, which found that he treated women as inferiors and made bigoted comments about Portuguese-Americans and other ethnic groups.
The report alleges that Rushing looked at porn in his chambers and engaged in other sexual behaviors at work. He made overly personal remarks about women’s looks, the Merc reports, and even commented about the length of a female lawyer’s legs.
According to the council’s findings, Rushing allowed male attorneys employed by the court to telecommute and gave them more complex cases, while he ordered female counterparts to do personal favors for him, such as preparing his home for fumigation.
Rushing has no record of public discipline, but a 1998 profile of the judge in The Recorder noted that he had been named in a complaint about gender bias by a female attorney. The story mentioned no further details, however.
The Judicial Council apparently issued its report on the judge this past spring. Rushing announced his retirement on Oct. 31, just weeks into the #MeToo movement that made stories of sexual harassment suddenly more newsworthy and consequential.
The Sixth District is headquartered in San Jose and spans Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties. It decides cases by randomly chosen three-judge panels, which rule on some 900 appeals a year.