A controversial Westchester judge suddenly passed last week.
Judge Elizabeth Shollenberger, who had been suspended for using her courtroom trashcan as an emergency bathroom, passed away on Thursday at the age of 63.
Shollenberger’s appointment was controversial from the outset. She was already known to suffer from significant health problems and cronyism accusations were lodged as soon as her appointment became official.
In 1989, Shollenberger fell in the subway, with her leg getting caught between the car and the platform. That injury resulted in a fungal infection in her left leg that apparently never went away.
Shollenberger was also obese, suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and several other conditions.
The medications she was on created even more problems for her, among them the need for easy access to restrooms in case an urgent need arose.
One day in court, thankfully when she was alone in the courtroom, that exact scenario played out.
Shollenberger found herself needing to go to the bathroom, but instead of finding a nearby restroom, she was apparently forced to use a plastic-lined wastebasket in the courtroom.
While Shollenberger took care of disposing of the “trash” on her own, a tiny stain was left behind on the carpet, which caused the staff to go berserk.
According to reports, court staffers taped off the area using yellow police tape, then they outfitted themselves with hazmat suits to do the cleanup. This is when Shollenberger got suspended.
The judge immediately filed a lawsuit to have herself reinstated, and her attorney has now asked the court for time to decide what their next move will be now that she has passed on.
While she can obviously not be reinstated, her suit also involved monetary damages, which would end up being passed on to her estate if her attorneys were to win the case.