Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says he will try to oust the judge who freed a violent criminal so he could be reunited with his dog, ignoring the pleas of the man's ex-girlfriend who said he had beaten her.
Three weeks after being released in $2,000 bail, Benito Oliver killed his former girlfriend and then himself.Giuliani said Wednesday he would move on several fronts to try to remove Judge Lorin Duckman, including asking the state Assembly to impeach him or having the governor petition the state Senate to oust him on a two-thirds vote.
The mayor's fury was sparked by the release of court transcripts showing that Duckman gave priority to reuniting Oliver with his dog, over the welfare of Galina Komar, 32, a former girlfriend and mother of a 5-year-old from a former marriage.
At a Jan. 24 hearing, Komar argued against setting free Oliver, a 35-year-old car alarm mechanic with a criminal record, but Duckman questioned how severely he had beaten her.
"There is no actual physical injury, is there, other than some bruising?" the judge said, according to court transcripts. "I'm not suggesting bruising is nice, but there is no disfigurement. There are no broken bones."
He added that granting Oliver's request to be reunited with his dog, "will assure there is no further violence in this case."
Monday, Oliver walked into an auto dealership in Queens where Komar worked and shot her in the head. Then he killed himself.
A furious Giuliani said Duckman showed "far more consideration for the dog than for the woman who is now dead."
"It's sick and there should be proceedings to remove this judge," the mayor said Wednesday before attending Komar's funeral.
Gov. George Pataki said Duckman's decision to free Oliver raises "serious questions about his fitness" for the job.
"For the judge to have permitted him to be at liberty on such facts is an outrage," Pataki added.
Komar had been caring for Oliver's dog during the six weeks that Oliver was in jail awaiting trial for assaulting her. The mayor said Oliver continued to call and threaten Komar from jail, in violation of court orders of protection.
Duckman's term on the Criminal Court runs through 2002.