Who would have suspected judges in Pennsylvania of misconduct? This is more on the story from Pennsylvania political favoritism and corruption we have been following since the sudden, unattended death of my son Raymond Zachry and the coroner refused to allow a full investigation into his altered and redacted toxicology reports.
Finally an out-of-state newspaper was willing to break the story.
By Bill Torpy, Bill Rankin email@example.com
One sent a message over Facebook to a criminal defendant, saying he’d give her behind-the-scenes advice on her case. Another was caught having sex in a parked car with the public defender assigned to his courtroom. Another inappropriately touched a prosecutor and investigator after they sat in his lap posing for a photo.
These were not defendants. All three were chief judges in their circuits with decades on the bench.
Since 2008, at least 16 judges across the state have resigned under duress, most recently two veteran chief judges from Cobb and Fulton counties. Some stepped down under a cloud of suspicion. Others left amid scandal or even outright criminality.
Allegations include sexual improprieties, harassment, voter fraud, giving state computers to family members and gross intemperance on the bench.
Why is there so much disorder in the courts?
“This is the worst rash of judicial misconduct I’ve ever seen,” said former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher. “There have been far too many, and it doesn’t reflect well on the judiciary. You can’t explain some of this conduct.”
Judges haven’t just started misbehaving, court watchers say. The news of one sensational case after another has created a snowball effect, prompting more complaints being filed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state agency that investigates judges. Those complaints are also being investigated more efficiently, leading to quicker resolutions.
This month, Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Kenneth Nix abruptly announced he would leave Oct. 6 and admitted he had “flicked” the two women’s bottoms while they sat in his lap for a photo. The women countered in a public statement that it was no playful touch, it was a “sex crime.”
In Fulton, State Court Chief Judge A.L. Thompson, on the bench 30 years, notified the governor by letter Aug. 5 that “it is time to move on.” Thompson insists he was not being investigated for malfeasance. But judges have long complained about Thompson’s absences, and electronic parking garage records provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed he came to the courthouse just 56 days in a seven-month period.
But it seems Georgia has some habitual criminals “misconduct” serving as judges also. Read more here.
- Mich. Judge booted from bench for misconduct loses bid to return (clickondetroit.com)
- How to Report Judicial Misconduct in the Fourth Circuit (blogs.findlaw.com)
- Jail for Cursing in Court, But No Time for Tardiness (blogs.findlaw.com)
- Innocence Project sponsors prosecutorial misconduct forum at Santa Clara University (mercurynews.com)
- Criminal court resumed in Montgomery County Pennsylvania (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com)
- Judge orders reinstatement of booted election officials in Philly, GOP says (hotair.com)
- Black Panthers at Philly polling site (wnd.com)
- Judge Boylson wants to test copyright trolls’ evidence in a bellwether trial (fightcopyrighttrolls.com)
- Court Rejects Singletary’s Objections in ‘Judicial Penis’ Case (thelegalintelligencer.typepad.com)
- GOP Election Officials Claim They Were Refused Entry to Pa. Polling Sites; Judge Orders Their Reinstatement (foxnewsinsider.com)