An upstate court officer claims he was fired after speaking out against a ‘laughter yoga’ class led by a clerk who paraded attendees through a courtroom greeting each other in the manner nazi.
Matthew Campbell, who worked at the Warren County Courthouse in Glens Falls, saw the bizarre scene on a security monitor in 2019 and took video of it with his cellphone.
The video shows Katherine Thompson, the Warren County Family Court’s chief clerk, performing the lunchtime exercise while walking stiff-legged and, after each salute, extending her right arm in the air in a “seig heil” movement associated with the Nazis.
Campbell took the video, which violated courthouse rules on photography, after her supervisor refused to do anything about the class, her attorney, James Tuttle, said.
“He just made a value judgment that it was more important to document the crazy stuff he was watching than to abide by this rule,” Tuttle said.
He also sent the video to colleagues.
The case went nowhere for two years until someone sent the tape to Chief Justice Janet DiFiore last year with an email that read, “Maybe the clerk in Warren County Family Court chief and his clerks should not goose-step into the courtroom, throwing up the Nazi salute. The news would love that,” court records show.
But instead of Thompson being disciplined, Campbell had his gun privileges suspended and reassigned to different courthouses.
He was fired in May and sued to get his job back.
Thompson, who at Campbell’s disciplinary hearing denied being a Nazi sympathizer, said she was doing an ‘army laugh salute’ exercise from a book on laughter yoga, a discipline supposedly increase joy. She did not immediately return a request for comment.
“The event that triggered his actions was a sanctioned welfare event conducted by and for employees in a closed courtroom. Part of the yoga exercises was walking around the room, laughing and greeting each other,” said Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the New York Office of Court Management.
He said Campbell’s actions “during and after the event were considered misconduct in relation to his position as an officer of the court.”
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NYC court clerk does ‘laughter yoga’ with Nazi-style march – CNET – ApparelGeek
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