He apparently used his judicial stationery to write notes trying to bully the Herald into giving him more money than the jury awarded him. The Globe reports that the Commission on Judicial Conduct filed charges against him: (The charging documents and relevant letters are here).
The Commission on Judicial Conduct filed charges yesterday with the Supreme Judicial Court against Judge Ernest Murphy, alleging that a series of letters he sent to the Herald constituted “willful misconduct which brings the judicial office into disrepute.”
And the story continues:
The commission alleges that after the jury verdict, Murphy sent Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell a handwritten note requesting a private meeting to discuss getting more money from the tabloid.
The commission, in a 26-page charging document, asserts that Murphy sought to use his office for personal gain in a way that “casts doubt” on his impartiality.
“You will bring to that meeting a cashiers check, payable to me, in the sum of $3,260,000,” according to the letter, written on Superior Court stationery. “No check, no meeting.” Murphy wrote that it was in Purcell’s “distinct business interests” to give him the money.
A one-page postscript warned Purcell that telling anyone about the letter would be “a BIG mistake.”
Note — in Mass. the CJC almost never files charges against judges. If you read the documents, the appendix contains copies of the handwritten letters. I’d have to agree that the CJC has a point about how Judge Murphy makes the Judiciary look.