A well-known federal judge has resigned Monday after multiple former clerks and junior staffers came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Judge Alex Kozinski, who for many years served as chief judge on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, will resign immediately, according to a statement released by his attorney.
He apologizes for his actions but also defends his “broad sense of humor.”
“I’ve always had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike. In doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace. It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent,” Kozinski wrote.
“For this I sincerely apologize,” he said.
A federal judge last week said there are grounds to open an inquiry into allegations of judicial misconduct against Kozinski.
“Family and friends have urged me to stay on, at least long enough to defend myself. But I cannot be an effective judge and simultaneously fight this battle. Nor would such a battle be good for my beloved federal judiciary,” he said.
Kozinski also said he is “proud” of the “success” of his clerks.
“It has also been my privilege to help train the best and the brightest of several generations of new attorneys. I was made better by working with them,” he wrote. “My clerks went on to stellar careers in law, business and academics. Their success has made me proud and I am gratified by the outpouring of support I have received privately from so many of them.”