This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
We are not counting on Judge Michael Hecht’s sense of decency. But if he still possesses any vestige of one, he will resign immediately from the Pierce County Superior Court bench.
A jury found him guilty Wednesday of hiring one young prostitute, a misdemeanor, and threatening to kill another, a felony. Every hour he remains on the court is a further disgrace to the bench.
State law appears to mandate automatic dismissal of any judge convicted of a felony. The trigger point, presumably, will be his formal sentencing next month.
Were Hecht capable of shame, it would never have come to this. He would never have filed for office, knowing the personal scrutiny his election might bring. He would never have taken the oath of office almost 10 months ago, the day after this newspaper reported he’d been under criminal investigation by Tacoma police. He’d have stepped down long, long ago, rather than cling to his $148,000 salary despite being barred from the courtroom by scandal.
It’s not a matter of being innocent until proven guilty. Hecht has known all along that, until recently, he was frequenting the young male prostitutes who sell themselves on Tacoma’s Antique Row.
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