Amid what could be the biggest, grisliest murder trial in Cleveland history, Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold has demonstrated an uncanny gift for making herself the story.
Assigned to the Anthony Sowell murder case, Saffold found herself in hot water over dozens of online comments left at cleveland.com related to proceedings in her courtroom — comments The Plain Dealer traced back to Saffold’s e-mail address.
Earlier this month, the paper exposed Saffold again for her habit of disregarding the law when she’s off the clock: The honorable judge has racked up more than $1,000 in unpaid traffic fines in recent years.
But judicial scholars may recall that Saffold holds a long-standing patent on courtroom crazy, which can be traced at least as far back as 1996. That’s when she used her position to advise one troubled teen to use what God gave her to land a man in a higher tax bracket.
Her advice after the jump.
Katie Nemeth, 19, was passing through Saffold’s court on misdemeanor charges related to credit card fraud when the judge suggested she dump her deadbeat boyfriend and head over to Case Western Reserve University to fish for med students.
“All you got to do is take a biology book, don’t even read it. When one of them walks by say, ‘Excuse me, could you tell me what this means?’ You got yourself a date. Men are easy,” Saffold was quoted from courtroom records.
She even offered a plan B: “You can go sit in the bus stop, put on a short skirt, cross your legs and pick up 25. Ten of them will give you their money. It’s the truth. And if you don’t pick up the first ten, then all you got to do is open your legs a little bit and cross them at the bottom and then they’ll stop.”
Sadly, Saffold has been taken off the Sowell murder case, where her keen feminist insights would have fallen on receptive ears.