NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has taken steps to remove Louisiana's longest-serving judge from the bench.
Friday's decision came two months after Frank Marullo beat out two opponents in a tough election battle.
The order was based on a recommendation from the Judicial Commission which said that Marullo was remaining in office in violation of state law, and was posing a "substantial threat of serious harm to the public...by eroding the public's confidence in the judiciary and it's respect for the rule of law."
The court's vote was unanimous, and it denied Marullo's request for an extension. It also ordered that the 75-year-old judge be disqualified from exercising any judicial function, effective immediately.
Many have been expecting this action, due to the fact that Marullo is too old to serve under the Louisiana Constitution. He had served on a Criminal Court bench since 1974, when he was appointed by former Gov. Edwin Edwards.
"Judge Marullo was the last judge still there in the building who was there when I became an assistant DA," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. It's an end of the era, but he has more appeals, and he will exercise those. …I don't think there was any risk to his competency, maybe the Supreme Court was concerned that maybe he could have been reversed, but I'm not sure about that."
Marullo beat out Graham Bosworth and Marie Williams in the November primary. They could run again in a special election.
In the meantime, former Criminal Court Judge Dennis Waldron will take the Section D bench in Marullo's place on Monday.
We called Marullo and his attorney but have not heard back. There could be more litigation. Some close to Marullo have indicated that he may file a federal age discrimination lawsuit.