Paul Sakuma / AP
Alex Kozinski, a distinguished federal appeals court judge, announced his retirement on Monday, effective immediately, after accusations of sexual misconduct followed the once-respected justice system.
In a statement issued by his lawyer, the 67-year-old lawyer Kozinski partially apologized for his behavior, but also tried to frame parts of him as a misunderstanding.
"I've always had a broad sense of humor and a sincere way of talking to both paralegals and men, so you may not have been aware of the special challenges and pressures women face. In the workplace I am saddened to know that I made some of my employees feel uncomfortable, this was never my attempt, "he wrote.  "Therefore, I sincerely apologize," he added.
The judge's career, which includes 32 years in the US Court of the 9th Circuit, seems to have been undone in 10 days, as 15 women continued to advance with personal accounts of Kozinski alleg making explicit statements about them, exposing them to pornography, or touching them inappropriately.
The accounts of a combination of former employees and junior staff on Kozinski's abuses were first reported by The Washington Post. Subsequently, they lead to a formal investigation by the 9th Circuit, then reassigned to the 2nd Circuit. It is not clear what will happen to the investigation.
Kozinski expressed regret for having left the bank under the current circumstances and wrote:
"Family and friends have urged me to stay at least long enough to defend myself, can not be an effective judge and at the same time It would not be a battle like that for my beloved federal judiciary. "
As Ina Jaffe of NPR reported earlier this week, Kozinski was also investigated in 2008 for misconduct. According to the Los Angeles Times, Kozinski had an email list that used to distribute rude jokes, some of which were explicitly sexual. The Times also reported that Kozinski maintained a public access website that contained pornography.
A judicial investigation determined that Kozinski did not intend that the public could access that website and that the judge's conduct showed a poor judgment with respect to this material. created a public controversy that can reasonably be seen as an embarrassment to the federal judiciary. "
In his announcement, Kozinski praised the successes of his former employees.
" It has also been a privilege to help train the best and most brilliant of several generations of new lawyers, "he wrote" I was better to work with them "