Society

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Faces Disciplinary Hearing Over Email

Supreme Court

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice accused of using state computers to exchange scores of sexually and racially offensive emails with other judges, prosecutors and lawyers over six years was ordered on Tuesday to face a disciplinary hearing.

Justice J. Michael Eakin, 66, a Republican elected in 2001, could face a reprimand, suspension, or removal from the bench if found guilty, the state Judicial Conduct Board said in a statement.

"Justice Eakin engaged in conduct so extreme that it brought the judicial office into disrepute," the official complaint stated.

Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, could not be reached for comment.

Eakin is the second Supreme Court justice to be caught up in a wide-ranging email scandal, dubbed "Porngate" by local media.

Justice Seamus McCaffery, a Democrat who traded offensive emails, was suspended by his fellow justices in October 2014 and later resigned. Several other state officials linked to the scandal have also stepped down.

The trove of offensive emails allegedly exchanged by Eakin, McCaffery and others was discovered unexpectedly during an investigation mounted by Attorney General Kathleen Kane of how one of her predecessors, Tom Corbett, had carried out the investigation of Penn State sexual predator Jerry Sandusky. 

Many of the offensive emails allegedly exchanged by Eakin are graphically described in the 48-page complaint. Some contained female nudity, others ridiculed African-Americans, while still others were misogynistic or homophobic, the complaint showed.

Eakin also allegedly created a fictitious email account in an attempt to disguise his connection to them, said the complaint.

Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has demanded Eakin's resignation.

Last week, Kane appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether laws were broken in the email scandal, which she has held out as an example of the "old-boy culture" she says permeates the state legal system.

In October, Kane saw her law license suspended by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after being charged with illegally leaking grand jury information to a reporter to embarrass a rival and lying about it to another grand jury.

She has contended that her troubles have been caused by enemies worried she will reveal the e-mails.

 

(Reporting by David DeKok in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Michael Perry; Photo credit: David/Flickr)

Dad Receives Coded Text Message From Son, Rushes To Help Him

In the middle of the night, West Virginia father Bert Fulks received a text message with only the letter "X" from his teenage son. Immediately, he sprung into action, calling his son to tell him that he will be there in five minutes to pick him up.

Teen Hit With Major Drug Trafficking Charges Let Off; Guess Who Her Dad Is

A woman arrested on drug possession and trafficking charges may be the daughter of a Drug Enforcement Agency office.

Doctors Issue Warning About One Of America's Most Popular Foods; If You Eat It, Stop ASAP

An experiment performed by a doctor in Massachusetts has people questioning whether they will ever eat instant noodles again.

School Claims Braless Senior's Shirt Is See-Through, But She Disagrees; You Decide (Photos)

Students at Helena High School in Montana have backed the right of a female senior student not to wear a bra.

Mother Almost Loses Legs As They Rot From Common Habit Most Women Have

A mother spoke out after almost losing her legs from a deadly infection caused by shaving her groin (WARNING: graphic photos below).