U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia of Kansas City, Kan., resigned Tuesday in wake of a court-ordered reprimand in September for sexual harassment and more recently inspiring four members of Congress to lean on his case to question merits of the federal system’s handling of workplace misconduct.
Murguia tendered his resignation from office to President Donald Trump, effective April 1. His resignation letter said he made the decision with “a heavy heart and profound apologies, out of respect for the federal judiciary, my colleagues, my community and — most importantly — my family.”
In September, federal court officials issued a rare public reprimand of Murguia for making sexually suggestive comments and sending inappropriate text messages to female judiciary employees. The 10th Circuit Judicial Council said he continued to harass employees even after one of them told him to stop.
The federal judicial council admonished the judge for the sexual harassment of women who work for him, an extramarital affair with a convicted felon, and habitual tardiness.
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members -- none from Kansas -- challenged safeguards against workplace misconduct while noting Murguia’s “very troubling” behavior. In early February, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York; Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia; Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin; and Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat of Pennsylvania, took exception to handling of Murguia’s case.
In the resignation letter submitted to Trump, Murguia said serving as a federal judge was the highlight of his professional life.
He went on to say it had become clear in recent months “that I can no longer effectively serve the court in this capacity.”
Murguia’s case assignments were immediately reassigned to other judges. He will assist with an orderly transition of his administrative duties.
He’d served on the federal bench since 1999 and a statement from the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., said he resigned “without eligibility for pension or any retirement benefits.”