On Thursday, December 21, 2023, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct determined that William H. Futrell, a Justice of the Montezuma Town Court in Cayuga County, should be removed from office. The Commission found that Judge Futrell had posted Nazi imagery on his Facebook page and publicly displayed “Likes” of Facebook pages that denigrated and objectified women.
According to the Commission’s determination, Judge Futrell’s Facebook profile picture was an image of a human skull that resembled the insignia of the Nazi SS/Totenkopf forces, with the letters “FF” in the style of the Nazi “SS” abbreviation. He also posted a meme showing Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in Nazi military attire. The Commission found that Judge Futrell’s Facebook “Likes” page included pages such as “Dirty Biker Trash” and “Porngirls” containing numerous sexually provocative photographs of scantily-clad women.
The Commission called Judge Futrell’s promotion of Nazi imagery “truly egregious and troubling” and said displaying content demeaning women detracted from the dignity of judicial office. The Commission determined Judge Futrell’s misconduct warranted removal from the bench.
Judge Futrell did not respond or submit a defense to the Commission’s formal complaint and determination for his removal.
The Commission’s determination will be reviewed by the New York Court of Appeals, which may accept the sanction, impose a different sanction such as censure or admonition, or impose no sanction. Judge Futrell has 30 days to request the Court of Appeals to review the determination. If no request is made, the Court of Appeals will remove him from office.
Judge Futrell, who is not an attorney, has served as a justice in the Montezuma Town Court since 2020. His current term was set to expire on December 31, 2023.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.