LA County judge found not guilty of injuring woman in dog droppings case


Dogs may be man's best friend, but what they leave behind is far from friendly.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Craig Richman found himself in serious legal trouble after confronting a woman about dog droppings.

Connie Romero works as a housekeeper in Judge Richman's Chatsworth neighborhood. She says she was walking her employer's dogs last summer when Richman pulled over in his car and told her to pick up after the animals. She says the discussion quickly became heated.

"He was like, 'No, pick it up now!' He repeats that over and over. And I said, 'No, I'll pick it up on the way back from the loop,'" said Romero.

Romero says the judge then said, "Ma'am, why are you being a [expletive]?"

She replied, "Why are you being a [expletive]."

Romero says the judge pushed her.

In his defense, the judge says that Romero threw the dog droppings into his car.

"She starts to yell and scream and she throws the dog feces into his car, she pushed him, she got into his face, she continued screaming obscenities and he pushed her back," said Richman's attorney, James Blatt.

Blatt is representing the 55-year-old judge, who was charged with battery and transferred off the bench last fall.

After about a week of testimony and three hours of deliberation, the jury found Richman not guilty.

"This was a deeply troubled woman with a history of significant mental instability, and aggressive behavior and violent behavior," said Blatt.

Romero refused to go on camera, but told Eyewitness News over the phone that she is disappointed in the verdict. She also denied having any mental issues or drug dependency problems.

The District Attorney's Office said that it respects the jury's decision.

As for Richman, court officials say he will be transferred back to his original courtroom to handle felony cases once again. The case that has "dogged" him for the past six months is now behind him.

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