Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for a judge to be removed temporarily over her apparent decision to help an illegal immigrant escape detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
A federal grand jury is investigating Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph over charges that she helped Jose Medina-Perez elude federal immigration authorities who were waiting to detain him outside her court.
According to reports, Medina-Perez was aided by court officials who allowed him to escape out a back entrance to the court. He then scaled a fence to avoid being detained by ICE officials.
Baker, who appointed Judge Joseph, said the allegations were "extremely troubling," and said she should stop hearing cases until the investigation has concluded.
"Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice," Baker told the Boston Globe. "I don't regret nominating her, but as I said, I find this story as it's currently been presented, extremely troubling.
"As far as I can tell," he added, "based on the facts as they were presented, she clearly violated the court's own policies with respect to the way they're supposed to handle detainers that involve federal immigration enforcement.
"I don't think she should be hearing court cases in the meantime" he concluded.