Judge says fired prosecutor created many problems
SIOUX CITY (AP) — A former U.S. attorney who is now a federal judge testified Wednesday that a fired prosecutor had committed “hundreds” of infractions.
U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose said 63 infractions against Martha Fagg were highlighted by employment attorneys advising the U.S. Attorney’s Office. But Rose added, “They are 63 among hundreds, hundreds, hundreds,” according to the Sioux City Journal.
Rose ultimately fired Fagg, who filed a lawsuit accusing Rose of discriminating against her because of her mental and physical conditions. She also alleged Rose discriminated against older employees.
Rose, who testified more than six hours in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, was appointed the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa in 2009. She became the nation’s youngest federal judge at age 40 when she was named to the bench last year.
Rose testified she began looking into Fagg’s conduct after hearing concerns from five office employees about the prosecutor’s unexplained absences. Rose said she determined the absences were one of an “enormous array” of problems.
She said Fagg lied to her and was belligerent at times.
“She was just so problematic,” Rose said.
She said she knew of no mental or physical disability Fagg might have had other than depression and anxiety issues.
Senior U.S. District Judge Donald E. O’Brien also testified. Speaking from Florida by video, O’Brien said Fagg had represented 177 cases before him in Sioux City.
“She’s a good lawyer. She was always well-prepared. We had no problems with her representation,” O’Brien said.
A jury will decide Fagg’s disability discrimination claim, and Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Kopf will decide the age discrimination claim.