Friday, December 21, 2007

Judge not, lest ye be Judged


Law Blog:

This just in: The Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit handed down this six-page order recommending the impeachment of Thomas Porteous, a federal judge in New Orleans.

The order lists several alleged misdeeds, citing substantial evidence from the special investigation. Among the allegations: Judge Porteous allegedly filed numerous false statements under oath during his and his wife’s personal bankruptcy proceeding; he engaged in fraudulent and deceptive conduct concerning the debt he owed to Regions Bank prior to bankruptcy; and received gifts and things of value from attorneys who had cases pending before him.

In May, the DOJ filed a complaint alleging that Judge Porteous “had engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts.” The Fifth Circuit appointed a “special investigatory committee” to look inito the allegations. Based on the results of a hearing in which Judge Porteous offered up his defense and a written report by the investigatory committee, the Fifth Circuit made its recommendation.

Judge Porteous had been under criminal investigation for several years. He returned to the bench this past summer after federal prosecutors said they weren’t going to indict him in an investigation relating to his stint as a state-court judge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. President Clinton nominated him for a federal judgeship in 1994.

Calls to Porteous’s lawyer were not immediately returned.