The New York Post reports that Daniel Kochanski, 43, typed random keys or "I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job" while he was supposed to be transcribing court proceedings.
The Post, citing a high-level source, reports Kochanski's "gibberish" typing may have jeopardized convictions by giving defendants a chance to claim crucial evidence is missing.
Family members told the Post Kochanski had been an alcoholic, and the 43-year-old told the paper over the phone that he was fired because of substance abuse but not because he failed at his job.
Kochanski was fired in March 2012 for misconduct, an Office of Court Administration spokesman told the paper. The Manhattan DA's office arrested him and forced him to try to make sense of his shorthand typing, sources told the Post, but the effort apparently failed.
Judges have been holding "reconstruction hearings" in which everyone involved in a case testifies about they remember, despite years having passed since the cases.
The Center for Appellate Litigation is handling appeals in 10 cases in which Kochanski botched the court transcripts.
"I never had a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage," said Claudia Trupp, an administrator at the center.
Kochanski denied bungling the transcripts.
"I always did my job 100 percent," he told the Post, adding that he was in recovery and will be one year clean by July.
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