the NYLJ today reports:
"The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct voted Tuesday to curb the responsibilities of its chairman, celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder.
The vote came in the wake of Friday’s "no confidence" vote in Felder because of what the commission described as the "racial, ethnic and religious invective" in "Schmucks!" a book he co-wrote with comic Jackie Mason.
Felder did not attend the meeting. The resolution, which was adopted without dissent, withdrew from Felder the authority to serve as the body’s spokesman.
In another move aimed at Felder, the commission said it is changing its prior practice of allowing any of its 11 members to sign non-public letters of caution issued to judges.
"Until further notice," the resolution states, all of the commissioners, "other than the chair," shall have the authority to sign the letters.
In an interview Wednesday, Felder disputed the commission’s factual premise, saying the past practice had been for only the commissioner to sign the letters. The body was acting, he said, out of a "hysterical" concern that he would refuse to sign the letters.
Felder agreed that the commission’s administrator, Robert Tembeckjian, should alone handle dealings with the media, and noted that he had deferred to Tembeckjian since becoming chairman last June.
Tembeckjian said Wednesday that the commission continues to examine whether it has the authority to remove Felder as chairman.