Two judges 'fess up in massage caper


District Judges Elissa Cadish and Susan Johnson womaned up today and confirmed they were the judges using a massage therapist in an empty jury deliberation room, definitely not the best use of a public building.

About half a dozen other employees were also enjoying the convenience of having a Regional Justice Center Massage Parlor open on Fridays.

Cadish was the instigator. She said her former law firm let a massage therapist visit the law office for the convenience of employees. About a year ago, she contacted him and he started coming up on Fridays, setting up his massage bench in the jury deliberation room and offering massages for a dollar a minute like the ones at the mall.

Nobody got naked; there was no soft music or aromatherapy. Everyone was fully clothed.

Cadish believes he has a city and county license, which had been a concern raised by former Chief Judge Kathy Hardcastle.
 
But current Chief Judge Art Ritchie got wind of it and said the practice should stop unless they want to do it in the judges’ private chambers.

Jury rooms are not suitable for massages or other private business, Ritchie told all the judges in an e-mail, even the ones who weren’t getting comforting pats on the back. Ritchie didn’t identify the judges involved, other than to say they were “a couple” of female judges. But a few calls and their identity was revealed and both judges called me back and ’fessed up.

Cadish said it was a convenience to have the massage therapist come to the Regional Justice Center and she’s not sure how she’s going to handle it in the future. “I can understand there is a problem because it is a public building, but I was looking at it as a convenience. … I suppose I should have thought it through better.”

Johnson said she’s been using the therapist for her arm for about three months. "There was a perception issue, certainly."

While this flap didn’t rise to the level of former Judge Elizabeth Halverson’s foot rub demands, it didn’t look quite right.

The therapist must make her arm feel better, because despite my first blog, Johnson went ahead and let him set up in her bathroom today, which falls within the chief judge’s restrictions of only using a judge's private chambers.

Kinda doubt that site will be popular in the long run.