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Upstate judge resigns after accusations

ELMIRA — A city court judge accused of graphically insulting a colleague, putting his daughter on a jury and making a court attorney represent his relatives in traffic court for free has resigned, a state panel announced Tuesday.

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct said it is dropping disciplinary proceedings against Elmira City Court Judge Thomas E. Ramich after he agreed to resign and to never seek judicial office again. In his resignation letter, the 31-year veteran of the bench in this Southern Tier city said he decided to retire for personal reasons effective May 1.

Ramich was accused of making a part-time court attorney perform work without pay, including representing his girlfriend, daughter and brother-in law for speeding tickets. Another time, Ramich told the attorney to pick up a package and called him an idiot when he went to the wrong location, according to the complaint.

Ramich also was accused of making an off-color joke at a police dinner about a colleague’s genitals.

He is accused of making 25 defendants donate to local charities as a condition of having their cases adjourned and of allowing his daughter to serve on a jury in a trial he presided over. The father and daughter talked about the case after the conviction but before the defendant’s sentencing, according to the complaint.