Remember Isaac H. Stoltzfus from Intercourse, Pennsylvania? After handing out condom-stuffed acorns to women on the street outside the Statehouse in Harrisburg, Stoltzfus became our Judge of the Day back in September 2010. In the spirit of res ipsa loquitur, we kept our coverage short and sweet.
We now know that Stoltzfus was cited with one count of disorderly conduct, but that charge was dropped. In April, the Judicial Conduct Board filed a complaint against Stoltzfus because… well, let’s not split hairs here, the dude was handing out acorns that he had personally hollowed out and stuffed with condoms. That is some pretty bizarre behavior, but Stoltzfus claimed it was just a prank, and filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.
On Wednesday, the state Court of Judicial Discipline dismissed the complaint, but why? We’ve got the scoop, after the jump….
In making their decision, apparently the Court of Judicial Discipline was well aware that bros will be bros. Here’s some more background information on Stoltzfus’s “prank,” courtesy of the Lancaster New Era:
Stoltzfus, a 20-year judge whose office is in Intercourse, was attending a continuing education seminar on Sept. 21 when he encountered two women outside a state building as he was picking up acorns from the ground.
He joked with the women and ended up reaching into his bag and giving them each two acorns, which he previously had hollowed out and stuffed with condoms.
“They make a nice afternoon snack, try them. I’ll be here tomorrow, let me know what you think,” Stoltzfus told the women, according to a complaint.
That’s totally not creepy or perverted, not at all. Neither is the fact that Stoltzfus later admitted to having hollowed out “thousands” of acorns and stuffing them with unwrapped condoms. Somebody had a little too much time on his hands. This kind of behavior seems like it should be coming from a bored hobo, not district judge who has been on the bench for 20 years.
But according to the Court of Judicial Discipline, even though the Judicial Conduct Board alleged that Stoltzfus’s kooky antics brought “disrepute” to his judicial office and “undermined public confidence” in the judge himself, it did not warrant a sanction. The decision itself is not yet available online, but the Lancaster New Era has more information:
“We must say … his preoccupation with acorns is mystifying to the court,” the court’s ruling said. “It is not funny, and we strongly disapprove of this conduct.
“Although it did not rise to a violation, it certainly lacks good judgment and must not be repeated.”
“We find that the Board has not established by clear and convincing evidence that (Stoltzfus’) conduct was so extreme as to bring the judicial office itself into disrepute.”
So Stoltzfus’s extracurricular activities lack good judgment, but he hasn’t brought the judicial office into disrepute? That must make sense in the great Commonwealth of Pennsyltucky. Suffice it to say, we imagine that many will be uncomfortable when entering Judge Stoltzfus’s courtroom in the future.
It just goes to show that in Pennsylvania every squirrel gets a nut, and every nut gets a condom-filled acorn.
Court clears Stoltzfus in acorn case [Lancaster New Era]