Judge may resign after banning press, insulting reporter in court

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge will be demoted, sources said Wednesday — one day after calling a Daily News reporter “a wisea–.”

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney, who was appointed to her post in 2010, will be bumped back down to her previous gig presiding over cases in city civil court, sources said.

Kenney hinted at her demotion during a routine hearing regarding a man accused of failing to pay his credit card bill. She noted she had worked in debt collection prior to becoming a judge. 

“I’ve done collection work for a good 20 years and may be returning to it soon, given certain circumstances,” Kenney said.

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In a subsequent hearing, she stepped down from the bench to speak directly to an elderly woman accused of turning her apartment into a Collyer house filled with dangerous amounts of clutter.

“If I don’t act all fancy, people criticize me for it,” she said as she stepped down.

On Tuesday, Kenney ripped into reporters, telling them they couldn’t quote everything she said because she “thinks out loud.”

The episode concluded with her moving a public hearing behind closed doors after a News reporter explained he wasn’t in court to write about her.

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On Wednesday, her tone had changed noticeably. She proceeded deliberately and courteously, making sure all parties understood the proceedings.

She even kissed the accused hoarder on the cheek, calling her an “incredibly well-educated, incredibly charming person.”

Multiple court sources said the outburst covered by The News was not the first time Kenney’s conduct had become an issue.

But one source added that she is among the most productive judges in her courthouse, which handles general litigation.  

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