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Fed Judges Gone Wild

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Zack Cohen
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal judges are considered among the elite in the judiciary world, appointed by the president for a lifetime, regarded as being beyond reproach. But in recent times there has been a crack in the almost king-like facade.

One judge, G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans, was just convicted in the Senate on articles of impeachment  on a variety of  allegations including taking gifts and meals from lawyers and bail bondsmen.  Another, Samuel Kent of Texas is behind bars for lying to investigators about sexually assaulting his staff. And Jack T. Camp, 67, of Atlanta was busted in early October for buying drugs from an undercover agent to share with a stripper he was carrying on affair. On Friday, Nov. 19, Camp pleaded guilty to drug charges and to providing a government issued  laptop to the stripper.

“They are human just like everyone else,” said Alan M. Gershel, a professor  at the Thomas  M. Cooley Law School in Michigan, who added that these isolated incidents do not reflect on the integrity of the entire judicial system.

Still, it’s an embarrassment.

Judge Kent

The latest case involving Judge Jack T. Camp has all the makings of the sleazy movie.

Camp,who is on senior status,  was arrested on a recent Friday night near Sandy Springs, Ga., after he bought $160 worth of cocaine and Roxycodone, a narcotic pain killer, from an undercover agent, according to authorities.

The Reagan appointee planned to use the drugs with an exotic stripper, who had told authorities that the judge used illegal drugs with her, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The paper said the judge had bought a private dance from the stripper and eventually paid for sex and started a relationship.

Authorities said they also found two guns in the front seat of his car.

Porteous, 63, was just ousted by the Senate, which convicted him on articles of impeachment on a variety of allegations that included taking cash, expensive meals and other gifts from lawyers and bail bondsmen, filing for bankruptcy under a false name and lying to Congress. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who headed the five-member House team,  prosecuted  the Louisiana judge for violating public trust and “making a mockery of the court system.”

Porteous’s defense team  argued that his actions reflected how things are done in the judicial system in New Orleans and said that if Porteous was impeached then the rest of the judges deserved the same fate.

Judge Thomas Porteous

Kent, 61, is behind bars, serving a 33-month sentence for obstruction of justice after he was caught lying about allegations involving groping and sexual assault of two female court employees.

Randolph Mclaughlin, a professor at Pace University of Law, agrees with Professor Gershel,  and says these isolated incidents aren’t reflective of the federal judiciary and don’t raise any real questions about the selection process for federal judges.

“I don’t think that overall the judges on the federal bench lack integrity,” said Mclaughlin. “While some corrupt judges slip through, if you were to examine the percentage of judges who have been impeached with the number of politicians who have been convicted of crimes, you would see that many more politicians are convicts.”


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