Judge Estes Faces Repercussions After Court House Affair
The Commonwealth's highest court will the decide the future of Judge Thomas Estes' career, after he admitted to an affair with a clinical social worker at a courthouse in Pittsfield.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct is asking for Judge Estes to be suspended indefinitely, without pay, to give lawmakers time to decide on whether or not to remove him from the bench permanently for an affair with Tammy Cagle, a clinical coordinator who worked in the special drug court in which Estes was presiding.
Cagle has accused Estes of pressuring her in performing oral sex on him in his chambers, as well as in her home. Estes denies he ever harassed or pressured Cagle to do anything she didn't want to do.
In 2017, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination began investigating a complaint filed July 24th by Cagle, which alleges that she entered into a sexual relationship with Estes while on a work-related trip in November 2016. This was four months after starting her job as clinical coordinator in the drug court. She claims that when she moved to end that relationship last spring, she was removed from her position by her employer, the Behavioral Health Network.
According to The Berkshire Eagle, in her MCAD filing, Cagle contends that Estes threatened to make life difficult for her if she exposed their relationship. The judge says in the joint filing to the Supreme Judicial Committee, that Cagle did not express remorse about their activities until the final time they met, in July 2017, months after she had lost her job, had moved to Georgia and sought out a meeting with him upon a return to the area.
Judge Estes is urging the court for a four month suspension. The court will hear Estes' case tomorrow.