EXCLUSIVE: Putnam Judge to Domestic Violence victim: Stop “shooting off your fat mouth”
By David Iversen
Aug 28, 2012
WINFIELD – Yet another video has surfaced of Putnam County Family Court Judge William Watkins shouting at those in front of him for justice, this time, a woman.
Tammy Jo Lambert divorced her husband in 1999. In 2011, she was still fighting back alimony payments in Judge Watkins courtroom.
In the August 25, 2011 hearing, after Lambert said she was not present at a hearing, Watkins replies, “Then why are you shooting off your fat mouth? Shut up!”
He continues telling her to shut up, referring to her as “you stupid woman.”
This video is the third obtained by 13News, in which Judge Watkins berates litigants.
“In my mind was just to let him get it out of his system,” Lambert said from her Scott Depot home. “That reverts me back to prior things.”
Lambert said she was physically and mentally abused by her former husband. Being screamed at brought her back to a situation where she feared for her life.
Before the hearing was over, Lambert was told to leave the courtroom for rolling her eyes.
She requested a copy of the video recorded hearing. When she got it, she claimed, the audio had been moved around, and in parts, deleted, alleging even more verbal abuse that is not on the tape.
She filed a complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel about the alleged edits.
Watkins is currently facing ethics charges, allegations that he has failed to keep up with the domestic violence registry and delayed judgement in a particular case.
The Court of Appeals is waiting for a written response to those allegations.
Watkins did not return calls Tuesday for comment on the Lambert matter. He had talked with 13News previously.
“If people don’t want to get chewed out, they should comply with court orders,” said Watkins.
In a July 23 letter to the Putnam County Family Court, Lambert asked not to appear before Judge Watkins ever again.
“[I do] not want to be abused by [sic] Family Court Judge anymore,” the letter reads. “The screaming he did at [sic] me on 8-25-2011 is equal to domestic violence suffered in 18 1/2 yr. marriage…”
Above her signature, Lambert wrote “Good Riddance.”
More info about Judge Watkins: putnamlive