Sinclair’s WJAR in Providence, RI came out on top when Superior Court Judge Melissa Long threw out a lawsuit accusing WJAR reporter Parker Gavigan of defaming and embarrassing a former judge in a story that aired back in 2015.
Disgraced former District Court Judge Rafael Ovalles sued Gavigan in 2016, accusing him of producing a “false and sensationalized” report that Ovalles had removed his pants in chambers and that it was detailed in a complaint lodged by a clerk.
As it turned out, Ovalles resigned in October 2017 after a disciplinary panel found that he had mistreated and harassed those who appeared before him, particularly female staff and lawyers.
But the lawsuit lingered.
Rhode Island’s Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline in August 2017 urged the state Supreme Court to dismiss Ovalles.
The commission’s findings came after a weeks’ long hearing in which legions of lawyers and court staff testified about his persistent mistreatment of those who appeared before him; sexual degradation of women; napping on the job; and widespread abuse.
Sounds like taking off his pants in chambers was the least of his problems.