An upstate court officer claims he was fired after exposing a “laughter yoga” class performed by a clerk who had individuals march round a courtroom giving one another Nazi-style salutes.
Matthew Campbell, who labored on the Warren County Courthouse in Glens Falls, noticed the weird scene on a safety monitor in 2019 and took a video of it with his cellular phone.
The video reveals Katherine Thompson, the chief clerk of the Warren County Household Court, conducting the lunch hour train whereas strolling stiff legged and, after every salute, extending her proper arm within the air in a “seig heil” motion related with the Nazis.
Campbell took the video, which violated courthouse guidelines about images, after his supervisor refused to do something concerning the class, stated his lawyer, James Tuttle.
“He simply made a worth judgment that it was extra necessary to doc the loopy stuff he was than to conform with that rule,” Tuttle stated.
He additionally despatched the video to colleagues.
The matter went nowhere for 2 years till somebody despatched the tape to Chief Decide Janet DiFiore final yr with an electronic mail that stated, “Possibly the Warren County Household Court Chief Clerk and her clerks shouldn’t be goose-stepping across the courtroom, throwing up the Nazi salute. Information would love this,” court data present.
However as an alternative of Thompson being disciplined, Campbell had his gun privileges suspended and was reassigned to totally different courthouses.
He was fired in Might and has filed a court motion to get his job again.
Thompson, who throughout Campbell’s disciplinary listening to denied that she was a Nazi sympathizer, stated she was doing an “military laughter greeting” train from a e-book on laughter yoga, a self-discipline that’s supposed to extend pleasure. She didn’t instantly return a request for remark.
“The occasion that instigated his actions was a sanctioned wellness occasion led by and for workers in a closed courtroom. A part of the yoga workouts included marching across the room, laughing and saluting each other,” stated Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for New York’s Workplace of Court Administration.
He stated Campbell’s actions “each throughout and after the occasion had been deemed misconduct relative to his place as a court officer.”