The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, upon learning of the disgraceful remarks of Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania’s Judge Michael. F.X. Coll issues the following statement regarding the actions of Judge Coll.
During a child-support case in July, The Honorable Michael F.X. Coll, as reported in an NBC10 news report, went into an on the record anti-Greek tirade.
According to a court transcript, the following exchange occurred between Judge Coll, Kostas “Gus” Hartas, and Hartas’ attorney:
Coll asked Hartas, “Are you of Greek background sir?”
“Yes sir,” Hartas replied.
“Right, the Greeks never pay taxes,” Coll said.
As Hartas’ attorney objected, Coll then said, “That’s why their country is in bankruptcy.”
Hartas’ attorney objected again but Coll continued his rant.
“So can I take judicial note of the fact that the Greeks are in bankruptcy as a nation and one of the reasons, the principal reason is because none of them ever pay taxes?” Coll asked.
“Your Honor, I object to lumping my client in with the entire country of Greece,” the attorney replied.
The Judge has since issued an apology. We join the community, as well as AHEPA, in the rejection of such an apology from this bigoted public servant.
Judges are the ultimate civil authority here in the United States. In most court rooms they wear long robes and sit on elevated platforms. There is no doubt that this Judge cannot stand as an ultimate authority to any degree.
It is ironic that this bigotry and anti-Hellenic sentiment is brandished by a member of the esteemed judiciary in the county with the greatest concentration of Greek-Americans in the Delaware Valley.
The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley wishes to meet with Judge Coll. The community at large, not just Greek Americans, but all Americans whom rely upon the basic freedoms protected by the judiciary demand a public apology. We also demand the opportunity to explain to Judge Coll the ramifications of his hurtful actions to all Greek Americans.
Until such time, the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley demands for the immediate ouster of Judge Coll.