Orange County judge resigns amid family court misconduct allegations

The judge is accused of being disrespectful, sarcastic and rude to five parents, four of whom were women, who didn’t have an attorney but came to Orange County Family Court for emergency help.

Blaise Gomez

Jan 31, 2023, 9:16 PM

Updated 436 days ago

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There’s a growing nationwide movement to reform the way family court judges handle custody cases. 
So, on Tuesday, when the New York State Commission of Judicial Misconduct released a complaint about Orange County Judge William DeProspo and said he’s stepping down, local activists like Jaqueline Franchetti said the transparency and accountability is a step in the right direction.   
“The way judges are treating victims of family violence, of domestic violence and child abuse in the courtrooms is absolutely outrageous and is atrocious,” said Franchetti. “They need to be held accountable.” 

DeProspo is accused of being disrespectful, sarcastic and rude to five parents, four of whom were women, who didn’t have an attorney but came to Orange County Family Court for emergency help. 
DeProspo is quoted in court transcripts saying, “What kind of kook are you,” “Everything you said was bull****” and “Get you’re a** out of bed and get here at 9 o’clock in the morning.” 
His attorney, Deborah Scalise, tells News 12 the judge has accepted responsibility for what she describes as isolated incidents and says DeProspo is a respected member of the community who has presided over thousands of criminal and family court cases since 2018. 
But activists say the alleged behavior is an example of what family court litigants experience all the time. 
“The overall experience that we are hearing is that individuals are not being seen as humans navigating the civil system,” said Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, the director for the domestic violence advocacy group Fearless. 
A representative for the commission said by statement that, “Judges are required to be patient, dignified and courteous toward those with whom they deal with in an official capacity. This is especially important in Family Court, which can be volatile enough without the judge making matters worse by insulting or demeaning the litigants.” 
In Franchetti’s court case, the Long Island mom says her daughter may still be alive if a Nassau County judge treated her concerns differently about the toddler’s father who killed her. 
“The last hearing we had, which was just days before Kyra’s murder, the judge yelled at me to ‘grow up’ and said, ‘this is not a life-or-death situation.’ Because of this judge, Kyra will never grow up,” said Franchetti.
DeProspo put in his formal resignation earlier this month and agreed that he will never seek or accept judicial office in the future. 
His last day on the bench will be March 31.  


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