- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - A judge is Houston’s crowded immigration court who had long unexplained absences from her Justice Department job is no longer on the bench.

An attorney for Judge Mimi Yam says the judge has retired after she was given no cases beginning last October following a five-month administrative leave. Only California has more backlogged immigration cases than Texas, which includes Houston’s five judges who have 37,400 cases backed up.

A Justice Department spokeswoman, Kathryn Mattingly, says the agency doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1VMRAJS ) Yam, on the court since 2004, had an allergy to scented cosmetics that often caused her to reset cases plus a history of unexplained absences.

Yam’s attorney, John Judge, says she chose to retire after losing an undisclosed whistleblower case in December.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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