Three women speak out about a Creek County judge. They were long-time employees of Judge Donald Thompson.
Two of them say they were fired after cooperating with an investigation into whether the judge used a pump to fondle himself in court, while hearing cases.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the three women have never talked publicly about this case and say they only talked to investigators after they were subpoenaed. But they were angry when Judge Donald Thompson's attorney told the News on 6 their allegations weren't true, so they wanted to speak out.
Zelma Hindman became the judge's bailiff in 1999 and says she loved her job until one day she says she caught the judge unaware. "When I stepped into the courtroom, I saw a pump in his law and I saw his penis." She says she never told anyone because she was afraid she'd be fired, which she later was.
Diana Horath-Strickland was the judge's minute clerk for 15 years and said in 1998, he made a lewd sexual suggestion to her. "As I began to leave the room, the last thing he said to me was to think about it. That's when I left threatened because when he figured out my answer was no, as his minute clerk, he'd made my life a living hell." Strickland says she also saw the pump under the judge's desk and heard it in operation during court cases. She requested and received a transfer.
Lisa Foster was the judge's court reporter for 15 years and says all was well until four years ago when she says she saw and heard the judge operate the pump a number of times. "I borrowed a Polaroid camera and took three pictures of the pump. I gave one to a friend in case anything happened to me and I kept the other two. I wasn't going to do anything with them, I just wanted to show my husband, because he, it's just hard to believe because it's so bizarre."
The women say they didn't report the behavior for several reasons, because they didn't want to be fired and because the judge had a number of connections, including serving on the committee that handled complaints against judges.
They also say they didn't want to embarrass his wife and three children and hoped he would just retire so it would end. The women haven't filed any lawsuits yet. Their attorney says they're waiting to see what happens with the Attorney General's motion to have Judge Thompson removed from the bench.
Judge Thompson's attorney told the News on 6 Friday afternoon the judge assures him the allegations are false and says the physical evidence and the lay-out of the courtroom will bear that out.