The family of burn victim Yvette Cade sent a letter yesterday to the Maryland judicial disciplinary board asking that Prince George's District Court Judge Richard A. Palumbo be removed from the bench.
Palumbo dismissed a protective order Cade had obtained against her husband three weeks before Roger B. Hargrave allegedly went to the store where she worked, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.
The judge said through his attorney that the dismissal was not his intention and was the result of a clerical error. The county's top District Court judge disputed that assertion, saying there was no clerical error.
Michael David Haynesworth, a cousin of Cade, said yesterday that he had expected an apology from Palumbo. He expressed that in the letter he sent to the Judicial Disabilities Commission in Annapolis, he said.
"Part of what was addressed in our letter is his insensitivity and blatant disregard for human life," Haynesworth said. "He's trying to throw off any responsibility on a clerk who follows his command."
Haynesworth said the judge's tone toward Cade was "cold and callous" during the Sept. 19 hearing at which the order was dismissed.
Through his attorney, Palumbo has expressed his "utmost sympathy" for Cade and her family.
Haynesworth said that Cade is still in the hospital in critical condition and that doctors say she needs about 40 more surgeries before her condition can be upgraded. The family has set up a fund to help pay for her medical care and other bills. Donations can be sent to the Yvette Cade Fund, P.O. Box 951, Oxon Hill, Md. 20750-0951.